'Tourist Festival Of Kashmir' Set To Roll With Range Of Activities

'Tourist Festival Of Kashmir' Set To Roll With Range Of Activities

10 May 2013
Hindu Business Line


Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Government is contemplating organising a chain of activities during the current tourism season as part of its efforts to attract tourists and showcase the rich cultural heritage and major products of the State. “Tourism is a tool for the economic development of both urban and rural areas and to boost the sector, the State Government contemplates organising a chain of activities during the current season,” Commissioner Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Atul Dullo, said here. Dullo said as part of the programme, the Department of Tourism, Kashmir is organising a “first of its kind” ‘Tourist Festival of Kashmir’ from May 14 to May 29, during which various activities would be held at famous tourist spots, including a Kashmir Haat. “These activities are aimed at attracting a large number of tourists and showcasing the handicrafts and other products of Kashmir,” he said. Dullo was addressing a meeting of officers, tour operators and hoteliers, convened last evening to review the arrangements being made to organise the festival. The Union Tourism Ministry on May 4 announced the festival as a “major initiative for the promotion of tourism in the Kashmir Valley”. The festival will be held for the fortnight at different places in the State. Dullo said the festival would be funded jointly by the State and the Centre, besides private partners, including tour operators, hoteliers, houseboat owners and other agencies related to the tourism sector. The festival will kick off at the Kashmir Haat on May 14; State Tourism Minister G. A. Mir will be the chief guest on the occasion. Dullo said besides presentation of a cultural bonanza, exhibition stalls would be set up to showcase the arts and craft of Kashmir, horticulture produce, agro-based food products and live demos of the preparation of local cuisine. He said on May 15, the famous Qawals, the Sabri brothers, would present a Qawali at SKICC here, followed by photography exhibition and a trekking expedition in Zabarwan. Director Tourism, Kashmir, Talat Pervez, said steps were being taken to involve all the stakeholders to participate in this “economy boosting” activity of the Valley. He said river rafting, para-gliding, horse races and e-gaming would be the special attractions of the festival.