Leading travel agents vow to promote J&K as choicest destination
SRINAGAR, DEC 30: The tourism promotional road show at Hyderabad received overwhelming response from the travel trade fraternity of the state of Telangana. The road show was third in a row in South India after Chennai and Hyderabad where tourism department promoted J&K as choicest destination.
The department organised road shows in South Indian cities where from the number of traveller visiting JK has increased.
While mincing no bones in praising the beauty and the hospitality of J&K state, Travel trade fraternity of Hyderabad said they would sell J&K among the travellers from South India. In addition to the locals, over 100 leading travel agents participated in the seminar at Hyderabad who expressed overwhelming support to market J&K among holidayers.
President of Tour Operators Association of Telangana, Siraj Ansari said the South Indians have always wanted to visit their dream destination J&K which has no match in the world. He said Tour Operators Association of India will promote J&K as one of the choicest destinations among the travellers from the state.
“We have a beautiful state in our country which is just over 3 hours fly time and is very well connected. There is no better place than the state of J&K where a traveller gets what he would want to see. We will make special tourism packages for Kashmir,” he said.
President Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) Sunil Kumar said most of the travellers want to visit Kashmir and also wished to hold the annual Convention of TAAI in Srinagar to promote J&K among the leading travel agents from India.
“In our conventions around 1000 leading travel agents from across India participate and exchange business, do networking and promote destinations. It would be a wonderful idea to promote J&K among TAAI members who will come and see by themselves how beautiful J&K is and how safe traveller feel there. J&K is a complete package for travellers and everyone wants to promote it,” he said.
One of the noted South Indian filmmakers P Patnaik who spoke on the occasion said he along with his film crew would visit Gulmarg and other places in winter to shoot songs in the snowfall. “Many South Indian movies have been shot in Kashmir which gave the filmmaker a good choice. I was also encouraged by the delegation of the J&K state here and I would be shooting for my film in Gulmarg and other places to show songs in snow. The shots in Kashmir are taken in natural setting which makes it more beautiful,” he said.
Others who spoke on the occasion include Secretary Tourism and Culture Government of Telangana B Venketasham, Former Union secretary Tourism Government of India R H Khawaja who also urged people to visit J&K and enjoy the natural and virgin beauty.
Chief Guest on the occasion Minister of State for Tourism Priya Sethi said tourist footfall in the state has improved recently and tourists were roaming freely and are safer than in any other state.
She also said that J&K is the first state to have its Tourist Trade Act and also tourist place who ensure that tourists are feeling comfortable and enjoy holidays.
She invited journalists and the travel agents from the state for a familiarization tour to J&K so that they will see themselves how normal situation is in Kashmir. “We will be more than willing to host you for a FAM trip so that you will see how tourists are enjoying freely,” she said while addressing the gathering.
Secretary Tourism J&K Sarmad Hafeez delivered key note address and took the audience to the tour to J&K through his speech which fascinated everyone. He also screened the department’s recently shot movie ‘Warmest Place on Earth’ before his speech to set the tone for seminar on J&K.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah gave the detailed presentation on all the regions of the state and informed them about historical, cultural, traditional, geographical, anthropological perspective of the J&K state.
Director tourism Jammu Smita Sethi gave the detailed information of the tourism products of Jammu region.
Chairman Pilgrim and Tour Operators Forum Nasir Shah delivered welcome address while as Showkat Pakhtoon of PILTOF delivered vote of thanks.
Before the seminar, Minister of state addressed the media persons in the press meet and highlighted the potential of J&K tourism. She also allied the fair concerning the security of the travellers in JK.
A good number of delegation of travel agents, hoteliers and houseboat owners also visited Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad to participate in these seminar to market J&K.
Notable among the delegations include Chairman J&K Hoteliers Club Mushtaq Chaya, President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries Javed Tenga, President Travel Agents Society of Kashmir Mir Anwar, General Secretary Travel Agents Association of Kashmir Farrooq A Kuthoo, President Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Owners Federation Abdul Wahid Malik, President Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Association Dr Abdul Majid, Travel Agents Association of India JK Chapter Zahoor Qari, Chairman Domestic Tour Operators Association of Kashmir Hamid Wangnoo, Pilgrim and Leisure Tour Operators Forum Chairman Nasir Shah, Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Alliance Manzoor Pakhtoon, Chairman Tourist Trade Interest Guild Akram Siah were also present on the occasion present along with host of travel trade fraternity from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions.