JAMMU: ‘Jammu has an immense potential to be developed as an independent tourist destination and resolute efforts are being made aimed at promoting the diverse tourism opportunities including showcasing Jammu’s rich culture and heritage besides encouraging tourists to experience the diversity of the region.’ Minister of State for Education, Tourism and Culture, Priya Sethi stated this during a meeting convened to review the functioning of Tourism Department regarding publicity and promotion of prominent tourist places of Jammu region.
From adventure to pilgrimage tourism, Jammu has every element of a desirable tourist destination catering to the needs of a diverse population, the Minister maintained. Encouraging the partnerships between the public and private sectors, the Minister called for collaborated efforts from every stake holder to give new dimensions to tourism industry in the Jammu region. The Minister asked the concerned officers to explore the growth potential of unseen tourist destination of Jammu as well to make the region emerge as a major tourist destination in the country.
Priya asked the concerned to prepare a comprehensive publicity mechanism targeted at attracting maximum tourist inflow to Jammu. She asked the tourism department to work on the agenda of development of tourist circuits and destinations, realizing the immense potential of Jammu with its diverse traditions, cultures, spiritual and natural richness. Priya stressed on optimal utilization of numerous formats of publicity in print and electronic media and asked to integrate platforms like social media, mobile application, and installation of LEDs at various tourists’ areas to highlight and promote Jammu’s major tourist spots.
During the meeting, the Minister reviewed the preparation for Jammu Mahotsav and asked the tourism department to widely publicize the event to ensure maximum participation to make this festival a grand success. She instructed to organise photography contests and preparation of tourism calendar capturing the true essence of Jammu and further asked to prepare a mobile application of Tourism department to reach out to the tourists.
The Minister sought the response and feed back of road shows held in other states and passed instructions to prepare a draft for organising ethnic food festivals in other parts of the country. She further passed instructions for formation of research teams and engagement of historians to derive authentic historical facts on various historical places to make the experience rich and knowledgeable for tourists, besides enriching and substantiating region’s history.
The Minister also directed for upgradation of tourist reception centre at Katra. She called for organising festival of lakes and asked the department to take recommendations from the concerned quarters in this regard. Priya asked the tourism department to tap the vast potential of adventure tourism in Jammu and called for collaboration with universities and colleges outside the state to attract the younger tourists and invite them for trekking expeditions and other adventure activities available in the region. She also stressed on developing a proper mechanism to take tally of tourists visiting the region.
To engage tourists with different activities, the Minister asked the department to organise summer festival while connecting Bani, Basholi, Doda and Patnitop circuit besides organising Baisakhi festival at Mansar, Mubarak Mandi and Akhnoor. During the meeting, a detailed discussion was held on various issues like publicity of Jammu Tourism on social media and outside the state, making of short films, promotional videos, funds allocated for publicity, categorization of hotels, fixing the hotel tariffs and alike.
Teasers and short videos showcasing beauty of various tourist destinations were also viewed during the meeting. Director Tourism, Jammu, Smita Sethi, Joint Director, Tourism, Shokat Mahmood, CEOs Kishori Lal Sharma, Arvind Kotwal, Sudershan Kumar, Dr Rajinder Khajuria, Deputy Directors, Subhash Chander and Prabhodh Sharma, Manager (Engg.), NPCC, Kripa Ram, besides officers of the concerned departments attended the meeting.