Having opened for tourists the royal era picturesque forest rest houses in the deep woods of Jammu and Kashmir, the forest department is now eyeing promoting eco-tourism.
The forest department hosted one-week training for its staff manning forest huts in the hospitality trade including housekeeping, catering and front office management.
The forest huts will be made available to the visitors through online booking.
The training was held in collaboration with Food Craft Institute, Nagrota, Jammu. As many as 25 hospitality staff of forest huts from different districts of Jammu province participated in the training programme.
The training was inaugurated by Dr B Balaji, chief conservator, Planning and Project and K. Ramesh Kumar Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu.
While delivering the keynote address, Dr Balaji highlighted the role of the forest department in the promotion of eco-tourism initiatives by way of opening forest huts for the public and training hospitality staff in various trades to cater to the demand of the nature lover tourists visiting the various forest areas. He further reiterated that as an outreach activity to improve public participation in forest conservation, it will improve the livelihood generation of forest-dependent communities.
K. Ramesh Kumar reiterated the need for skill up-gradation of the frontline staff in the area of public outreach and added that eco-tourism initiatives of the forest department of Jammu and Kashmir will provide perfect opportunities to involve the locals in better management of forest areas.
He further advised the participant trainees to use the training modules to upgrade their skill sets in the area of housekeeping, catering and front office management.
Principal, Food Craft Institute, Nagrota, Jyoti Bhati elaborated features of a one-week training programme aimed at imparting a basic skill set to hospitality staff of the Forest Department.
The basic training programme aims at covering culinary skills including confectionaries and other local delicacies, basic aspects of catering, housekeeping and management of tourists in the front office. The training session will be followed by a practical assessment towards the end of the training programme.
The inaugural session was attended by B. Mohandaas Conservator of Forests, East Circle, Jammu and Sunil Singh Divisional Forest Officer, Urban Forestry Jammu.