Tour and travel operators from Maharashtra have initiated an Unlock Kashmir Tourism Campaign with support from the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department. Around 70 travel operators and some writers and journalists from Mumbai visited Kashmir in this regard on Saturday.
An influx of tourists boosts the economy of J-K and generates employment in the tourism sector. But unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism industry was frozen temporarily.
Hence the Tourism Department of J-K supported the initiative to bring renowned tour operators and writers from Mumbai as an innovative method to promote the derailed tourism sector in the valley.
"This tourist delegation from Maharashtra will become our ambassadors who will further inform their friends and neighbours about Kashmir's unique beauty and charm. Word of mouth is a powerful tool for promotion and we're trying to garner the benefit of the same for the welfare of Kashmiri tourism," Nisar Ahmad, Director, Tourism Kashmir, said.
The delegation which is headed by Maharashtra's top travel operator Satish Shah will visit major tourist destinations of the Kashmir valley in next nine days and campaign for the promotion of Kashmir tourism.
"We have 70 members with us here today. The winter tourism of Kashmir needs a spotlight. Places like Gulmarg and Pahalgam are hidden treasures of this land and we have come to uncover it. The journalists and writers travelling with us will highlight the scenic beauty of the valley and help in promoting the tourism sector of Kashmir," Satish Shah, the tour operator from Mumbai, said.
"We were sceptical about touring Kashmir right now due to the pandemic. But it is great to be here finally. One should definitely visit this place once in their lifetime because the beauty of the valley outshines everything else. It is indeed a heaven," Dhansukh, another tour operator, said.
Presently, the climatic conditions in Kashmir are good and the upper reaches including Gulmarg have already received snowfall. It is a good time to promote the idea of tourism in this part of the country.
"I would request everyone to visit Kashmir. The snowfall here is incomparable. Traditional boat rides have their own old-world charm. I'm looking forward to this trip," Bhoumi Chawla, a writer from Mumbai, said.