Par­adise re­gained for Kash­mir

Shameem Wani, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, JKTDC, talks about plans to pro­mote Kash­mir dif­fer­ently and how MICE and lux­ury tourism are now their fo­cus ar­eas.

TravTalk - India - - States - PE­DEN DOMA BHUTIA

How was last year for tourism in Kash­mir?

The year 2013 was good in terms of tourist in­flow. De­spite the con­di­tions in Ut­tarak­hand, the sum­mer of 2013 was very good for us. In fact, even for 2014, we have wit­nessed un­prece­dented tourist in­flow in the month of March, which left us sur­prised. We sur­passed the tar­get fig­ure of last year in March. For April and May too, we have wit­nessed a surge in book­ings. We are ex­pect­ing the tourist in­flow to be more than 1.5 mil­lion this year.

Kash­mir is a des­ti­na­tion that has been pro­moted far and wide. How would you mar­ket it dif­fer­ently?

The tourism min­is­ter has taken a new ini­tia­tive to pro­mote places like Dodh Pa­tri and Yous­marg. The Jammu & Kash­mir Tourism De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (JKTDC) is com- ing up with a pre­miere ac­com­mo­da­tion in the brand name of Kung Push open­ing in 5 places and one of them will be in Yous­marg. We are also com­ing up with a Pa­hal­gam Club, which will be a pres­ti­gious club and will be one of the best clubs in North In­dia. We will

We also want to fo­cus on MICE tourism, be­sides leisure tourism. We are also ag­gres­sively mar­ket­ing Kash­mir as a ma­jor lux­ury des­ti­na­tion.

open it in three phases start­ing from the month of June. We also want to fo­cus on MICE tourism, be­sides leisure tourism. We are also ag­gres- sively mar­ket­ing Kash­mir as a ma­jor lux­ury des­ti­na­tion.

Which are the coun­tries that you are fo­cussing on to pro­mote Kash­mir?

Some­times the pro­mo­tion has to be taken on a very se­lec­tive ba­sis, like we will be go­ing for road­shows to South East Asia. We are pri­mar­ily fo­cussing on Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia. We get a lot of tourists from these places dur­ing the pe­riod be­tween Novem­ber and Jan­uary be­cause this is the time that most of them have their Christ­mas hol­i­days.

How are you plan­ning to mar­ket Kash­mir to other in­ter­na­tional tourists?

We are par­tic­i­pat­ing at var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional marts like WTM and ATM. In the first day of ATM 2014 it­self, we gen­er­ated busi­ness

` of more than 50 lakh and most of the queries were from Iran, UK and Dubai. We will also be trav­el­ing to ITB Sin­ga­pore, and are also hold­ing road­shows in Malaysia. We will also be hav­ing a Wazwan fes­ti­val in 5 coun­tries, I have met the Tourism Sec­re­tary, Parvez De­wan and he has agreed to send our chefs to food fes­ti­vals in New York, Lon­don, Dubai, Malaysia and Italy.

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