Government aims to tap J&K’s vast cultural, eco-tourism potential – greaterkashmir

Srinagar, Nov 14: In a strategic move to diversify its tourism offerings, the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government is setting its sights on unlocking the untapped potential of cultural and eco-tourism.
The government’s latest Vision Document outlines a comprehensive plan to develop new types of tourism experiences, including adventure tourism, heritage tourism, and cultural tourism.

“The goal is to appeal to a broader range of visitors and position J&K as the tourism capital of the country,” the document reads.
The Vision Document, a blueprint for the future of tourism in the region has identified priority areas and new plans.
Key strengths highlighted in the document include the rich cultural heritage, vibrant local festivals, a safe environment, accommodation facilities, abundant resources for producing quality products, economic growth, and diverse culture.

These strengths are seen as pivotal in attracting and retaining tourists.
However, a detailed analysis in the document sheds light on existing weaknesses within the tourism sector.
These weaknesses include a deficiency in management skills, a lack of innovation, subpar quality service, a high turnover rate, seasonal staffing issues, and reliance on conventional marketing strategies.
The government is keen on addressing these shortcomings to enhance the overall tourism experience.

According to the report, the focus is on providing personalised services, creating unique destination experiences, exploring unusual venues, developing new products, promoting eco-friendly destinations, offering economical services, and leveraging online marketing strategies.

These opportunities are key areas of exploration for the Tourism Department in J&K to increase tourist footfall.
The report also identifies threats to the tourism industry in J&K, including environmental concerns, limited finances, a scarcity of professional institutions for tourism, intense competitiveness, visa restrictions, and negative publicity.

Despite these challenges, the government recognises the pivotal role that the tourism industry plays in the development of all regions of J&K.

“Apart from the agricultural sector, the tourism sector is the most popular source of income for the UT. A significant population of J&K is engaged in the tourism sector directly or indirectly,” the report reads.

It emphasises that J&K boasts a wealth of tourist attractions, ranging from pilgrimage sites and leisure destinations to heritage sites, adventure spots, golf courses, and opportunities for film tourism.

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