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Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 11 : 30 AM [IST]

Jammu & Kashmir needs a healing touch: Mehbooba Mufti

J&K Chief Minister inaugurates the 64th TAAI Convention in Srinagar
The 64th Convention of the TAAI (Travel Agents Association of India) - Indian Travel Congress 2018 was inaugurated by Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) at the Sher-e Kashmir International Convention Centre in Srinagar last evening. This convention comes at a time when the State is battling with a drop in tourist footfalls amid reports of constant security concerns. Addressing the crowd, she said, "There is a problem and what J&K requires is a healing touch which is possible with the support of the industry. The State is going through a difficult phase and we need hand-holding. The incidents are happening in the border areas, but all the three regions are completely safe for tourism."

Mufti inaugurated the Convention amid a packed hall of nearly 500 delegates and high-level State government dignitaries.

Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, Minister of Tourism, Government of J&K, spoke on the change of the perspective about the State, which requires strategic investment on public relations.

Sunil Kumar, President of TAAI, said they decided to return to Kashmir after 30 years on the invitation of the Tourism Minister of J&K.

Delivering the keynote address, Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said that domestic tourism is the backbone of travel & tourism in India. He urged the J&K Government to convert the Srinagar airfield into a 24x7 airport, which will generate jobs for the local population. This, according to him, will help the state generate multi-fold growth in tourist arrivals, and be back on the tourism map not only in India, but globally. To support his view, he drew a comparison between Udaipur and Goa. "Today, Goa enjoys 1/4th departures between 9 pm and 6 am and this has helped convert the state into a year-round destination. Similarly, after connecting Udaipur with multiple frequencies, the city has seen an expansion in tourist traffic and setting up of accommodation options to suit every pocket."

The inauguration also saw J&K Tourism showcasing its cultural heritage through traditional dance and musical performances.
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