The state of Jammu and Kashmir has called for closer coordination among the travel agents and the government to fully explore the potential of tourism in the state. The state’s Governor, N N Vohra told the delegates at the sixth convention cum exhibition of the Association of Domestic Tour Operators (ADTOI) in Srinagar that the number of visitors to three region – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh could go up much more than the 2011 figures.
The state has added new facilities and products to cater to the travellers needs. “Gulmarg will have a new Khyber hotel and more tourist reception centres were being built. Additional houseboats will also be added to new lakes, apart from Dal and Nagin.” Houseboats grew much attention at the convention, with many asking for lifting of the ban on new houseboats while others stressing that at least repairs should be allowed without hurdles.
Jammu and Kashmir Federation of Tour Operators pointed out that with the return to normalcy in the state, the demand for infrastructure and accommodation facilities would increase and the stakeholders should be prepared for to tackle the tourist rush. Connectivity and high air fares was another issue, as roads need to be improved and air fares controlled, to make travel viable.
Listing the steps being taken to promote tourism, the state Tourism Minister N R Jora said that they were creating ring corridors, so that the stay of the tourists could be increased. Golf tourism in the three regions was being promoted, as was heliskying and skiing.