Home Business Tourism Inc meets Home Minister, pitches for positive publicity of Kashmir

Tourism Inc meets Home Minister, pitches for positive publicity of Kashmir

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Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 10 2017 12:31AM | Updated Date: Sep 10 2017 12:31AM
Source:Greater kashmir.com

The meeting of representatives of several tourism, trade and hospitality umbrella bodies with the home minister was held at Nehru Guest House in Chashma Shahi here.

Various members of Kashmir’s tourism fraternity Saturday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here and asked him to take steps which could control the “negative publicity” of the Valley, which they claimed is diverting tourist footfalls to other states.

The meeting of representatives of several tourism, trade and hospitality umbrella bodies with the home minister was held at Nehru Guest House in Chashma Shahi here.

Tourism players asked Rajnath Singh to control electronic media channels from portraying a ‘scary picture’ of Kashmir which they said creates hurdles for tourists to visit the Valley.

Secretary General of Travel Agents Association of Kashmir, Farooq Kuthoo said tourism trade stakeholders also asked the Home Minister to explore innovative ways to promote Kashmir tourism.

“We told him that detailed policy to promote Kashmir must be formed so that tourists are encouraged to visit here. A positive statement from the Prime Minister and Home Minister can be helpful to remove the trust deficit among tourists we told him,” Kuthoo said.

“While the Home Minister assured us that he will take up the issue (negative publicty) with the news channels he also told us that these organisations work independently,” said Ghulam Rasool Siah,  Chairman, Houseboat Owners Association. Siah said he also highlighted the issues confronting development of houseboat industry in Kashmir.

“We submitted a detailed written representation with the Home Minister and asked him to identify fringe elements in various states who are hell-bent on destroying Kashmir tourism industry. He has assured us that steps would be taken to ensure that only a positive word of mouth publicity for Kashmir takes place. I also asked him that deodar wood be made available to houseboat owners so that we can repair our houseboats,” he Siah.

Siah said he told the Home Minister that a formal letter should come from Government of India to all stake-holders in Kashmir regarding peace talks. “I told him that uninformed visits will not yield any results and that he should formally intimate all stakeholders in advance for meeting them,” Siah said.

Javed Burza, president , Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation said he informed the Home Minister about the slump which hospitality and tourism industry has been suffering for last two years in Kashmir. “We informed him that prime time television is spewing venom against Kashmir and such news channels must be reined in. Let the news be shown but the propaganda be rooted out so that positivity about Kashmir is reflected is our demand. It is high time that Kashmir tourism be revived,” he said.  Burza said during the meeting they highlighted the recent “boycott” of Kashmir as a destination by various travel agencies outside Kashmir. “We have recently got to know that some travel agencies outside have boycotted Kashmir for next two years which we raised with the Home Minister and he assured us that he will look into it,” Burza said.

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