Srinagar, Sep18: Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK) held its 14th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Aharbal in Kulgam district from 16th to 18th September 2022 in an effort to promote the best tourist spot among travellers.
A large number of travel consultants, promoters of destinations participated in the event.
During the AGM, the current office holder and the Executive Committee received a one-year extension under the TAAK constitution, which was acclaimed by the members present.
The members unanimously praised Farooq Kuthoo’s efforts as TAAK president and expressed their opinion in favor of extending the current positions for another year.
TAAK awarded the Manzoor Siddiq Memorial Award posthumously to the late M Hafeez Shala for his outstanding commitment to the tourism sector.
The award for bravery was presented posthumously to tour guide Shakeel Ahmad, who drowned while trying to rescue a tourist during his trip to Lake Tarsar in June this year.
TAAK member Ibrahim Raina received the award for bravery for leading the rescue operations and successfully recovering the body of the deceased tourist who drowned in the river at Hamwas during the Tarsar Trek.
Malik Hamidullah Bazaz received the lifetime achievement award for his immense contribution to the tourism industry in particular and TAAK in general.
Jal Shakti Department Special Secretary Dr. GN Itoo was the special guest and Additional Deputy Commissioner Babdipora Wasim Raja was the guest of honour, both of whom were congratulated for their tremendous contribution to the tourism industry during their tenure at the Tourism department.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. GN Itoo praised TAAK for hosting its AGM in Aharbal, which he said is a good step in promoting an unusual destination.
He said that TAAK has been at the forefront in promoting Kashmir in general and the less visited places in particular.
Dr. Itoo further said that promoting an off the beaten path destination will also help decongest tourist spots such as Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonmarg.
Wasim Raja in his speech said that every part of Kashmir is full of unique beauty which should be promoted.
He said promoting off the beaten track destinations is also a great service to the community in these areas where tourists visit less compared to popular destinations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonmarg.
TAAK President Farooq A Kuthoo welcomed the members and stressed the importance of holding the AGM in Aharbal.
He said that TAAK had previously held its AGM at Lolab as well to give that venue a boost.
On the occasion, President TAAK also highlighted the achievements and activities carried out for the promotion of Kashmir tourism.
He said TAAK has been promoting green and responsible tourism to safeguard Kashmir’s fragile ecology.
During the General Meeting, fishing, hiking and cleaning days were also carried out.
Around 50 students from the local school participated in the clean-up campaign in Aharbal park.
All members present at the meeting appreciated TAAK’s efforts to promote off the beaten track destinations.
TAAK commended the role of the tourism department for their support in making the AGM a great success. The conduct and preparations for the AGM were overseen by the Chairman of the Events Committee, G Nabi Bhat.