To tap the tourism potential of Kashmir, a high-level delegation from the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) Government of India is visiting the Valley for a 4-day visit, starting April 11.

The delegation of over 100 members which will include Secretary Tourism GoI, senior officers from MoT, Incredible India team, ambassadors from various countries, members from India Golf Tourism Association, Trade and Advocacy group, The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry. The delegation will hold meetings with the Jammu and Kashmir administration, senior officers from the tourism department besides the travel and hospitality sector.

Director Tourism Kashmir, Dr. G N Itoo said during their visit, they will be showcasing the tourism potential of the Valley.

“The visit by the ministry of tourism will give a significant boost to Kashmir’s tourism potential,” said Dr. Itoo.

The delegation is slated to have a conference on April 12 here in Srinagar wherein the department will showcase known and lesser known places of Kashmir through a detailed powerpoint presentations and videos besides plans for tapping various other niche tourism products.

The team will also oversee the potential of golf tourism which has so far remained untapped to its full capacity.

Dr Itoo said the India Golf Tourism Association members who are part of the delegation will discuss ways and means to promote Kashmir as a golfing destination.

“We will also be promoting golf tourism in a big way in the coming months,” said Itoo.

Terming the visit of the MoT team a big boost to the tourism sector, Dr Itoo said their visit will further encourage tourist influx to Kashmir.

“Under Incredible India campaign, the ministry of tourism Government of India has been giving special focus to Kashmir. The visiting incredible team will also shoot at few locations here and promote the places on their social media handles,” he said.

The Director tourism said Kashmir has a vast tourism potential and a large number of tourists are also visiting the Valley.

“We conducted around 20 road shows  and also participated in major travel marts across the country to attract travellers to Kashmir.  We also apprised them about the Covid19 measures that are put in place here by the administration and travel and hospitality sector which has given travellers the confidence to visit Kashmir,” he said.

President India Golf Tourism Association (IGTA) Rajan Sehgal said MoT under Dekho Apna Desh plans to promote golf in the country under the Golfing Tour of India programme which they will start from Kashmir.

“We want to promote this Golfing Tour of India programme from Kashmir as the Valley is one of top golfing destinations of the country,” said Sehgal.

Sehgal said their Golfing Body wants to promote Kashmir as an international golfing destination with proper marketing campaigns.

“If we are able to market Kashmir as a golfing destination, a golfer will easily spend around six day in Kashmir.  There are many golf courses in the Valley which are very isolated, beautiful and can be very useful under current COVID19 circumstances. Travellers will want to holiday at peaceful and isolated places,” he said.

The President of IGTA said on their visit to Srinagar they will try to see how they can promote Kashmir as a major golfing destination and invite domestic golfers to the Valley.

Rajan Sehgal further said MoT under Dekho Apna Desh plans to promote golf in the country under golfing tour of India programme and it will begin with Kashmir.

“We want to promote a golfing tour of India programme from Kashmir which is one of the top golfing destinations of the country,” said Sehgal.

Sehgal said their association wants to promote Kashmir as an international golfing destination with proper marketing.

“If we are properly able to market Kashmir as a golfing destination, a golfer will easily spend around six day in Kashmir as there are many golf courses in the Valley which are very isolated and can be very useful under current COVID19 circumstances,” he said.

Sehgal said on their visit to Srinagar they will try to see how they can promote Kashmir as a major golfing destination and invite domestic golfers to the Valley.

Local travel trade has welcomed the MoT’s plans for Kashmir tourism.

Secretary General Travel Agents Society of Kashmir, Athar Yameen, said promotion of Kashmir tourism by the Ministry of Tourism GoI is a welcome step and will go a long way in attracting a good number of tourists to the Valley.

“We are hopeful of the outcome of their visit to Kashmir. We will also brief them about Kashmir potential areas that will be promoted,” he said.

President, Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK) Farooq Kuthoo said the Ministry of Tourism is very serious in promoting Kashmir Tourism.

Kuthoo said that these types of events are investments for the future.

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