Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Sarmad Hafeez today threw open a capacity building programme for tourism stakeholders of Gulmarg here today.

The programme was jointly organized by the Department of Tourism and University of Kashmir in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Tourism. This is the second in series of the capacity building programmes being conducted by the Department. Earlier, a four day capacity building programme was held at Srinagar for shikarawals by the Department. The aim of conducting these programmes has been to guide the stakeholders on the implementation of COVID-19 appropriate protocols while conducting their businesses in the post pandemic environment.

In his opening remarks, Sarmad Hafeez said that these programmes are being organised with an aim to make aware different tourism stakeholders about the COVID-19 protocols while carrying out their business activities. He said that through this Capacity Building Programme, training will be provided to all the stakeholders associated with the tourism sector so that the tourists visiting Kashmir can feel safe while visiting here. He said all the stakeholders having interface with the tourists will be trained through this Capacity Building Programme on Covid-19 protocols and SOPs.

Sarmad Hafeez said in the changed environment of global pandemic, trade practices have undergone a change and the same should be factored in while conducting day to day businesses.

The Tourism Secretary advised the stakeholders that if they want to maintain the edge among the competing tourism markets in the country, they should ensure a level of fairness in the trade in tune with the local traditional hospitality. He hoped with today’s capacity building programme, the stakeholders would be benefitted in terms of latest trade practices followed elsewhere in the world, post Covid precautions and the traditional courtesies the place has been known world over.

Experts from relevant fields sensitized the participants about the latest practices and precautions in the trade in the wake of Covid pandemic and economic sluggishness of the past two years or so.

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