The 3-day OTM event, supported by Incredible India, was recently held in Mumbai and drew thousands of tourists, holidaymakers, travel trade buyers, and tour organizing professionals. The Jammu Kashmir Tourism department participated in the OTM in a big way, as part of its extensive winter tourism promotional campaigns across major cities of the country.
The Jammu Kashmir pavilion was the cynosure of all eyes at the gathering and offered the most-engaging experiences for the consumer and trade visitors as well as the participants of the various sessions. The interactions of the Jammu Kashmir Tourism Board with the event attendees consisted of detailed presentations, various short films on known and off-beat destinations of Jammu and Kashmir, and the floating luxury products of the grand Kashmiri Houseboats.
Dignitaries such as Dr. G.N. Itoo, Director Tourism Kashmir, Bakshi Javed Himayun, Director SKICC, and Manav Gupta, Secretary JTGC, Jammu & Kashmir represented the Jammu Kashmir Tourism Board at the event. Dr .G.N. Itoo, as the spokesperson, revealed that despite of pandemic challenges, the tourist footfall in Kashmir had touched an impressive number of 6.65 lakhs and it was a similar scenario in Jammu as well. They had bumper seasons in the autumn and winter as well. As a result of the various measures initiated by the department for the revival of the tourism sector, throngs of domestic tourists had visited during winters and enjoyed snow in Gulmarg, Srinagar, Pahalgam, Patnitop, Sanasar, Natha Top, Sonmarg, and Doodhpathri. The good times have continued to roll for the UT, as the visitors’ numbers in 2022 since January have been growing at a very encouraging pace.
Apart from the well-known and lesser-known destinations, the UT has a lot more to offer by way of pilgrimage and adventure tourism, visits centered on events and festivals, and regional locations for the famous Kashmiri art and craft.
As Dr. G.N. Itoo puts it forth, the Jammu and Kashmir government has again taken the lead by launching ‘Mission Youth,’ a new initiative aimed at bringing 80 villages to the forefront of tourism. The soul of each village, unique on its own, will serve as the USP to promote tourism. The energetic youth of the villages will not only get employment but also will project themselves as the native ambassadors of tourism. They will focus on ensuring the availability of good homestays and hotels for making the tourist experience most comfortable and memorable.
In addition, the government has carefully chosen 75 new destinations in Kashmir and extraordinary efforts are being put in to maintain the pristine environment. All of these 75 destinations have well-established connectivity to reach several sought-after destinations like Doodhpatri, Bangas, Doda, and many others where tourism has a strong footprint. In addition, the government is also in talks with cab aggregators to make their services available for the convenience that the tourists are used to in their own cities.
The rush of tourists that is happening currently is already buoying up the tourism economy of the paradise on earth. Thanks to the encouraging strategies of the Jammu and Kashmir government and initiatives of the tourism board, investors from India and abroad are eyeing the region for setting up new hotels, resorts, and other hospitality infrastructure in the near future.