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J&K Govt to launch promotional campaign for countering ‘negative publicity’

To change the ‘negative perception’ and clear apprehensions of people in other states about visiting Kashmir, state government is all set to launch a tourism promotional campaign from March 25 with an aim to lure visitors.

Tourism has nosedived in Kashmir post Pulwama attack owing to ‘negative publicity’.

 Tourism department along with other stakeholders including representatives of tourism trade fraternity from all the three regions—Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh has decided to launch a “sustained campaign” to promote Kashmir’s tourism in other states in a meeting on March 16, said an official privy to the development.

The decision was taken during a meeting headed by advisor Khursheed Ahmad Ganai, commissioner secretary tourism Rigzin Samphel, director tourism Nisar Ahmad Wani and other officials with various representatives of stakeholders of state’s tourism industry.

“There has been a lot of negative publicity about our region in the aftermath of February 14 attack, which has badly hit our tourism. It was decided with 20 associations of various stakeholders of tourism industry in a meeting that a vigorous campaign is needed to again put our tourism on track is need of the hour,” said the official.

Confirming the development, advisor Khursheed Ahmad Ganai told Greater Kashmir that campaign will be kick started from Mumbai on March 25.

“It is right that we have held a meeting in this regard at hotel Taj Vivanta last week,” said Ganai.

The campaign will be starting from Mumbai and after moving through cities including Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Jaipur will culminate at capital city New Delhi.

During the campaign, the delegation of senior functionaries from state government and officials of tourism department along with stakeholders of Kashmiri tourism will be meeting and having interactions with hoteliers, tour and travel companies and media from other states.

“We have identified our potential tourism market and accordingly decided to visit these cities. We will be also taking suggestions from them,” said the official, adding though Tourism Department had recently concluded this year’s promotional tourism campaign, but in wake of the scenario generated post February 14 attack, the need was felt to conduct another campaign.

President of hoteliers group of Kashmir, Mushtaq Chaya who will be also part of the state’s delegation mentioned that the move was necessary in wake of the losses suffered by stakeholders involved in state’s tourism industry.

“There are around 10 lakh people directly or indirectly involved in tourism industry. It is necessary to clear negativity that has been created unnecessarily,” said Chaya.

Kashmir’s tourism industry and hoteliers had won appreciation for their endeavour of offering free accommodation to non locals, during crisis aftermath of border skirmishes between India and Pakistan armies, when the airports in the state were closed and Srinagar-Jammu Highway was off-traffic due to snow and landslide.

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