Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that initiatives have been taken to make tourism attractive for investors in the state and also to enhance economic growth of the youth.
“Pilgrim, adventure, sport and other related tourism is being encouraged to develop along with the growth of conventional tourism,” he said addressing a meeting of Tourism Advisory Committee here last evening.
He also expressed satisfaction over the increased tourism in the state as over one million tourists came to Kashmir valley during the last three years giving considerable fillip to tourism and generated good economic activities for people.
Steps are also on to rope in greater number of high-end tourists, Omar said.
“Nature has bestowed us with plenty of tourist attractions and every one of us has the responsibility to protect and preserve the scenic beauty of Jammu and Kashmir for the generations to come,” he said.
Tourism has been of a great economic resource for the people and the State since times immemorial,” Omar said.
He said while departments concerning tourism have special responsibility of preservation and conservation of tourist resorts, the stakeholders in the sector are equally responsible in this regard besides general people.
“We have kept this sector almost all out of the tax regime to help people whose livelihood is associated with the growth and development of tourism,” Omar said.
Earlier, the CM heard the views of the representatives of hoteliers, house boat owners, traders, shikara-walas, transporters, taxi operators, travel agents and others organisations and directed the Tourism Department to upgrade and improve tourism facilities and ensure welfare of the people associated with this sector.
Omar also assured the representatives of Jammu that he would continue his efforts to protect and enhance the importance of the region as a tourist destination and significant heritage place.
“I have already told the Union Government for taking necessary measures to upgrade and improve Jammu Railway Station,” he said.