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Secretary Tourism holds interactive session with Maharashtra Tour Organisers Association, Tourism stakeholders

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STATE TIMES NEWS

KATRA: Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed, Secretary Tourism, conducted an interactive session with participants from the Maharashtra Tour Organisers Association in Katra, who were on their FAM tour.
The four-day Familiarization Tour spanned Bhaderwah, Jai Valley, Guldanda, Patnitop, and Katra, concluding in Katra. The tour was flagged off from the Directorate of Tourism Jammu on 1st December.
The event was graced by the Officers including Director Tourism Vivekanand Rai, DC Reasi Vishesh Pal Mahajan, Joint Director Tourism, Sunaina Sharma Mehta, CEO KDA, Gopal Sharma, AD Tourism Katra, Mohd. Arif Lone(JKAS).
Secretary Tourism, Abid Rasheed, highlighted the pivotal role of stakeholders.
With a tourism influx exceeding 1.97 crore until November 2023, primarily from Katra, he emphasized the need to give opportunities to pilgrims for exploring other tourist destinations around Jammu.
Stressing the importance of homestays, he advocated for democratizing the tourism sector, promoting adventure tourism, and addressed the Prasad scheme for making Katra a Model Town. He appreciated the Directorate of Tourism Jammu for their efforts in identifying new adventure activities and stretches/areas, along with other commendable initiatives in the tourism sector.
Director Tourism highlighted the indispensable role of tourism stakeholders, calling for a symbiotic relationship and a holistic approach. He encouraged coordination with stakeholders from the film industry for tourism promotion and invited active participation in the New Year to boost tourism in the region.
Deputy Commissioner Reasi discussed transformative changes, emphasizing collaborative efforts, showcasing the Chenab Railway Bridge’s- the engineering marvel and promoting rafting activities. He expressed gratitude for adventure activities introduced by the Department and urged MTOA to collaborate for further promotion.
During her address, Sunaina Sharma Mehta emphasized the department’s unyielding dedication to diversify tourism experiences.In addition, She shared specific recommendations for running water rafting stretches across various regions. These include thrilling routes such as Prem Nagar to Suspension Bridge in Doda, Shiv Mandir to Kundal in Kishtwar, Baradari Bridge to Dera Baba Banda in Reasi, Balfiaz town to Poonch in Poonch, and Tawi from Rajouri to Hidayat Pura in Rajouri (depending upon water levels). These additions are poised to elevate the adventure tourism landscape, offering enthusiasts exciting opportunities to explore and experience the untamed beauty of these stretches. In this vibrant exchange, the Maharashtra Tour Organisers Association’s FAM tour marked a significant chapter in the promotion and exploration of Jammu’s rich tourist offerings. Expressing gratitude, Vishwajeet Patil, President of Maharashtra Tour Organisers Association, extended heartfelt thanks to the Tourism Department for the enlightening FAM trip. He shared invaluable experiences, insights, and offered constructive suggestions, contributing to a mutually enriching exchange. During the event, Rakesh Wazir, President Hotel and Restaurant Association Katra conveyed sincere appreciation to the Secretary of Tourism for the impactful measures initiated by the Tourism Department. He also expressed gratitude for the enriching interaction, recognizing the department’s commendable efforts in advancing the tourism sector. Also in attendance were prominent figures including Sham Lal Kesar, Senior Vice President of Hotel and Restaurant Association Katra; Virender Qesar, Senior Vice President; Shiv Kumar Sharma, Senior Vice President; Kaushal Magotra, President of Patnitop Hotel Association; Arun Sharma, President of SMVD Press Club; Vishwajeet Patil, President of Maharashtra Tour Organisers Association; Udhay Kadam, Vice President; and Rajan Parekh, General Secretary, Shabir Zargar, President Bhaderwah Tour and Travel Association, Ali Jaffrey, Manager Skyview by Empyrean, Patnitop.

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