JK to boost MICE Tourism at exotic locations, says Mufti

‘Mulling to operationalise, incentivise copter service to boost high-end travel’

Jammu and Kashmir News

SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 06: Describing exotic resorts of J&K as future business centres for country’s Corporate giants, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Tuesday identified MICE tourism as a window of opportunity for opening up new vistas in ever-expanding high-end travel market.

He said on the request of elite tour operators, who organize annual conference retreats, the state will explore possibilities of starting helicopter services to tourist destinations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Aharbal, Daksum, Bangus and Patnitop to kick-start convention tourism, with focus on winter. “We have holiday resorts with required infrastructure that can bring Corporate Houses and people with common business interests, together at one place,” he added.

The Chief Minister also placed high priority on showcasing treasure trove of heritage assets, which has been successfully projected by some other states of the country. He specifically mentioned the historic Maharaja Palace in Gulmarg, being restored with expertise from INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage), so that it is projected as an upmarket destination. “People will love to stay there once the project is completed by Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) by November-end,” he added.

The state government is exploring to incorporate heritage tourism in the State Policy so that our heritage properties become self-sustaining and productive assets. A high-level Committee comprising the state government officers and Indian Heritage Hotels Association of India has been constituted to strategize a plan for projecting J&K as a top-end heritage destination.

Urging corporate world to come over and explore the facilities available for hosting high-end conferences at state’s leading holiday resorts, the Chief Minister said the government is concurrently focusing on the allied hospitality sector to professionally market J&K as a high-end conference centre. “We need to pan out conferences to places like Gulmarg, Patnitop and Pahalgam, especially in winter,” the Chief Minister emphasised, while asking State Tourism Department to focus on hosting conferences this winter.

The Chief Minister, in a review meeting at Gulmarg on Sunday last, had emphasised upon making plans for matching winter footfall of tourists with that of summers.

HDFC Bank is organising its annual conference of 75 heads of branches within and outside the country in the summer capital.

Also present in the meeting were Amitabh Chaudhary, MD, HDFC Bank and Akshay Aima, Group Head, HDFC Life.

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