Srinagar, Aug 13: With the start of the first of it’s kind, 12th Chapter in Jammu and Kashmir by Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), the stakeholders associated with the tour and travel services are terming the move as a new beginning for opening new horizons to promote Jammu and Kashmir tourism at the national and global level.
Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club, Mushtaq Chaya opined that Kashmir itself is a known and world-famous tourist destination, but welcomed the move stating that anyone’s move is appreciable if done in a positive direction for promoting J&K tourism.
“Kashmir’s tourism mainly prevails with peace and that is quite visible now, and if they have any initiative for the betterment of tourism it is good if they are involved in promotions”, Chaya said.
As the chapter on it’s inauguration elected Manzoor Pakthoon a prominent travel operator as it’s first chairman, he termed the start of TAFI’s J&K chapter as a big boost towards the augmentation of Tourism promotion at the national and international level.
“It is a welcome and much-needed step by TAFI, along with the promotion, if there are issues of tourism stakeholders which needs intervention at national can also be taken up”, Manzoor Pakthoon told Rising Kashmir.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Dr. G N Itoo stated the TAFI’s J&K chapter is a more winning situation for tourism stakeholders. Speaking to Rising Kashmir Dr.Itoo said, “TAFI not only has presence PAN India but also at the international level, and it’s start will surely provide a platform for tour and travel fraternity for tourism promotion of Jammu and Kashmir”, director Tourism Kashmir said.
Dr.Itoo said that the opening of TAFI’s J&K chapter was followed by a FAM tour, in which senior members of TAFI were taken from Dodhapathri to Yousmarg.
“As TAFI has a convention scheduled in Malaysia, they have promised us to showcase the Jammu and Kashmir also, and we are expecting more tourism from south Asian countries”, Dr.Itoo added.
Irshad Hazari, mainly dealing with International tourism in the valley, termed the start of the J&K chapter as much needed saying that it is a big platform for local stakeholders as the chapter can further showcase Kashmir at the global level.
At it’s launch ceremony Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez reiterated that tourism in Jammu and Kashmir has done exceedingly well in the past couple of years with several new initiatives taken to boost the tourism sector in the Union Territory.
Mr. Hafeez said that the J&K Government recently launched a new policy of home stays wherein the department is targeting to enhance the bed capacity by 25,000 beds at different tourist resorts and locations across the UT.
Congratulating TAFI’s J&K Chapter and its new team he urged them to help in disseminating a positive message to the outside world and showcase Kashmir to the outside world in a proper context.
President TAFI, Ajay Prakash termed the opening of the 12th Chapter of TAFI in J&K as a historic day and added that with the launch of a new chapter a vibrant, active, and contributing chapter has come into being.
“Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed a phenomenal tourist season this year which can be long term rather than short term by focusing on sustainability and promotion to the outside world”, he said.