Tourism & peace essential for Kashmir's progress: LG 
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Tourism & peace essential for Kashmir's progress: LG 

Inaugurates 'Bangus Adventure Festival' Bangus valley has emerged as a premier offbeat destination  J&K to develop 300 new tourist destinations J&K has been positioned as the most promising tourist destination 

Post by Aatif Qayoom on Monday, September 11, 2023

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Kupwara, Sept 10: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated the 'Bangus Adventure Festival' in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, organized by the Tourism Department Kashmir. The festival aims to showcase the rural and adventure tourism potential of Bangus Valley, promote its tribal culture, and provide a platform for local artisans to display traditional arts and crafts.
During his address, LG Sinha stressed the critical role of peace in fostering development and tourism in the region. He emphasized that ensuring peace is not solely the responsibility of security forces and police but also requires the active participation of local residents and elected representatives. "Years of terrorism and its ecosystem had destroyed the peace and prosperity while tourism is uniting one and all," he added.
LG Sinha reiterated the Union Territory Administration's efforts to boost the tourism sector, describing tourism as a transformative force in Kashmir. He extended a warm welcome to visiting tourists, expressing the motto of 'Atithi Devo Bhava,' which signifies the culture of hospitality in the region.
LG Sinha revealed an impressive tourism statistics by indicating a significant surge in tourism. Last year witnessed 1.88 crore tourists visiting the Union Territory, and by August 31 this year, 1.58 crore tourists had already visited. He expressed optimism that this number could reach 2.25 crore by year-end, with a remarkable 350 per cent increase in foreign tourists compared to the previous year.
LG Sinha emphasized that the Bangus Adventure Festival had put Bangus Valley on the global tourism map, and their goal is to attract more tourists and provide them with unforgettable experiences. He underscored the tourism potential of Jammu and Kashmir and shared the Administration's plans to develop around 300 new destinations, offering a diverse range of options for tourists.
These destinations will feature activities, festivals, natural beauty, shopping opportunities, and cozy bed-and-breakfast homestays in tranquil villages. 
LG Sinha highlighted that Jammu and Kashmir offers something for every type of traveler, from leisurely adventures to pilgrimage sites and traditional handicrafts.
LG Sinha celebrated India's G20 Presidency and its positive impact on tourism, especially after the successful G20 summit held in Jammu and Kashmir. He emphasized the role of private players, local communities, and youth in improving facilities for tourists.
Later, the Lt. Governor also flagged off various rallies and activities as part of the Bangus Adventure Festival. The festival offers an array of activities such as paragliding, horse riding, hot air balloon rides, ATVs, cultural events, and games for tourists.
Among others present in the event included Irfan Sultan Panditpori, Chairman, District Development Council Kupwara; Major General Girish Kalia GOC Vajr Division; Vijay Bidhuri, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Secretary Tourism Department; Ayushi Sudan, Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara; Haji Farooq, Vice Chairman, DDC Kupwara; PRI members, senior officers, local residents, and a significant number of tourists.

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