Tourism Department fail to upgrade winter tourist destinations

Cover Story

Sajad Bashir
Srinagar 24 Jan (KNB): Department of tourism of Jammu and Kashmir is unable to cope with the problem of the infrastructure in tourist destinations. Lacking accommodation, amusement, electricity and heating arrangements in the most of the destinations especially in winter season areas like Sonamarg, Yusmarg ,Doodhpathri in central Kashmir is affecting the inflow of the tourists.

The locals alleged that the government is turning a deaf ear towards the demands to promote these destinations as the tourists hub throughout the year.

Local demand that Government should organise the sports events and exhibitions to promote the tourism in those areas.

Himayun kaiser a prominent broadcaster sports analyst talking to KNB said, “From the time of the Britishers, Gulmarg is the only winter sports destination in the Valley and government failed to promote other destinations which are competent for winter sports and can enhance tourist inflow.

Winter season sets in, travelers across the world look out for specific destinations to spend leisure time. In Kashmir, the winter tourist finds a full basket of adventurous winter sports like skiing, ice hockey, Ice skating, snow cycling, sledging, snowboarding and snowmobiling. However, with tourists flowing in, the need arises for better infrastructure, facilities and amenities. The other important ones are development of infrastructure products like trekking material, winter sports material, and trained human resource.

“Government should initiate the awareness cum training camps in schools and colleges in the peripheral areas of the Kashmir as most of the youth have no knowledge of the potential in tourism sector, the trained and professionals agents can help to promote the tourism in Kashmir,” a local tourist agent Mukhtar Ahmad said.

Pertinently, the valley is blessed with a number of places and having potential of being developed into all-season tourist hubs. Places like Yusmarg, Gulmarg , Doodh pathri in central kashmir , surprisingly the tourism department has failed to upgrade any infrastructure like restaurant, public convenience points and other refreshment places here.

Despite the repeated calls the director of Tourism was not available for his comment. (KNB)

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