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Rediff.com  » News » Kashmir gears up for another blockbuster tourist season

Kashmir gears up for another blockbuster tourist season

March 17, 2012 23:30 IST

In order to give a fillip to the ensuing tourist season, the Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to re-start famous light and sound shows in Shalimar Garden and the Hariparbat Fort in the city.

The shows had been suspended for the last 22 years due to the rise in militancy. This was announced at a meeting of senior state government officers and local tour and travel operators chaired by Minister of State for Home and Tourism Nasir Aslam Wani.

Wani said, "We have to showcase ourselves as a destination looking to attract both high-end overseas travellers and domestic visitors, while consistently projecting a first-class image of the state."

He said a Quick Response Mechanism will be put in place this year so that tourists are facilitated once they land in the state.

"Hassle-free arrivals of tourists at Jammu and Srinagar airports and entry points at Lakhanpur and Lower Munda will be ensured so that tourists are not made to wait for long hours. We want to create an atmosphere where tourists should feel they are wanted in the state," the minister said.

"The tourism department has decided to hold festivals every month in the state and introduce light and sound shows at Shalimar Garden and Hariparbat and rock climbing at Nowgam for the entertainment of tourists," he said.

"Houseboats are our heritage. But for the conservation of Dal Lake, we need to realign these so that these are connected to common sewage treatment plants," the minister said while seeking cooperation from the houseboat owners association in ensuring  realignment of houseboats.

The state government is expecting another record tourist season this year. Last year, more than ten lakh tourists visited the valley.

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar