World Tourism Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh union territories on Tuesday.
In Srinagar, Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Sarmad Hafeez launched several tourism related activities to mark the celebrations at Zabarwan Park.
In Ladakh, Sangam, which is the confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers and is a famous tourist spot, was cleaned by tourism department officials.
Hafeez inaugurated the Downtown Legacy Tour and the Heritage Walk.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Fazl ul Haseeb, Managing Director, J&K Tourism Development Corporation, Minga Sherpa, and representatives of various travel & trade organizations, tourists, students and other locals were present on the occasion.
The Downtown Legacy Tour would explore art and culture of old Srinagar, besides showcasing traditional locations; Sheher-e-Khaas Bazaar, Khanqah-e-Maula, Tomb of Zainul Abideen’s mother, Pathar Masjid, Jamia Masjid, Raghunath Temple, Hari Parbat Fort (Koh-e-marran) and Gurudwara Chhattipadshahi.
The events were organized by J&K Tourism Development Corporation and J&K Tourism in association with Aabe Rawan.
Speaking on the occasion, Hafeez said J&K Tourism has taken several initiatives to boost local sightseeing and the inauguration of the venues is another step in this regard.
The theme of World Tourism Day for 2022 is ‘Rethinking Tourism’ and J&K has already started on it since 2020, when the tourism industry was hit by covid-19 pandemic, Hafeez said.
He also congratulated Kashmir Tourism Forum and tourism players alike for participating in the event.
“J&K Tourism is trying to concentrate more on experiential tourism and working to enhance the overall experience for tourists. Kashmir has so much to offer where tourists can come and have this local experience. The state is a brand in itself and people from all over the world and the country want to travel here”, Hafeez said.
While addressing the audience, he further added, “We have suffered from the recent past as there are various perceptions about Kashmir. With these initiatives we all are able to overcome some of these perceptions. All the efforts like festivals, travel marts, road shows have boosted our spirits and there is no stopping us now. Time is not far when Kashmir will regain the number one place in the entire country in tourism”.
A sanitation drive along trekking routes and other tourist destinations around Srinagar was also launched.