J&K Govt mulling international flight, cargo operations to Kashmir

Pahalgam: Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Sunday announced that the UT administration was seriously mulling to start international flight operations and international flight cargo in Kashmir to ‘ensure a bumper tourism season this year.’

He was speaking at the concluding ceremony of two-day winter carnival festival at Pahalgam in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. The festival was organized by Tourism Department in collaboration with Pahalgam Development Authority, District Administration Anantnag, Pahalgam Hotel & Restaurant Owners Association and Pahalgam Hotel & Guest House Owners Society.

Addressing the gathering virtually from Jammu, J&K’s LG said that the UT Administration and people of Jammu and Kashmir are ready to host the tourists from India and across world.

“The UT of Jammu and Kashmir successfully controlled the Covid-19 situation, and the results are in front of you. After a slow start, the valley today is witnessing full bookings in world famous Tourist Ski destination Gulmarg”, Kashmir News Observer (KNO) news agency quoted him as saying.

“We are mulling international flight operations and international flight cargo to woo tourists and to ensure a bumper tourist season in Kashmir this year.” Addressing the gathering Principal Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez said that in his recent personal visit to Mumbai, many bigger names of Bollywood like Imtiyaz Ali,Ekta Kapoor and Mahavir Jain expressed their desire to move their cameras towards the valley.

“Film shooting crews visiting the valley will help in boosting the tourism in the valley and youth of the valley in particular will also get chance to cater in different segments, film crews visiting the valley will generate a good business of hoteliers and people associated with the tourism industry”, he said.

“We have a slogan, ” You come to Kashmir we will show you the world”, he told KNO. LG’s Advisor Baseer Khan, who also spoke through virtual mode, said, the tourist footfall in the valley has increased and new tourist destinations will also be explored.

“Visitors are the ambassadors for the tourism in the valley back at home they have to disseminate the message”, he said.

Earlier the two day event was inaugurated by Director Tourism G. N. Yatoo who was joined by Joint Director Tourism Tabasum Kamli. On the first day of the event a grand musical programme was organised in the Auditorium Hall of Pahalgham Club, which witnessed a big gathering of both Tourists and locals.

The two day carnival witnessed different activities and participation of youth from different parts of the valley which included Calligraphy, painting and photography competition/ exhibition.

During the two day carnival winter festival around 40 stalls from both Privately owned and Government departments also participated in the event. Apart from that various stalls of food and other crafts at display and the  carnival event also included Mountain snow biking, Tonga rides and horse riding.

Alizah Balkhi a Mandala artist from Srinagar while displaying Mandala Art, Miniatures, Abstract and water colour paintings said, the art she has exhibited in the fest majorly delivers calmness, spirituality and peace. “The arts is combination of Russian and Turkish patterns”, she said. A hand embroidery artist Nadiya Azad told KNO that she exhibited her Hand embroidery  in the fest, while thanking the Tourism Department she said more platforms should be made available for the youth so that they can exhibit their talent—(KNO)

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