Tourism in J&K a reflection of India’s multi-religious and multi-cultural ethos: Lt Governor


Srinagar, 23 May (Hindustan). Addressing the opening ceremony of the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that tourism in Jammu and Kashmir is a reflection of India’s multi-religious and multi-cultural ethos. Today Jammu and Kashmir stands among the developed regions of India and we are committed to the prosperity of the people both economically and socially. The visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi is ensuring social equality and equal economic opportunities for all citizens by eliminating injustice, exploitation and discrimination, which is also enabling them to contribute to nation building. In the last 4 years, the ranking of Jammu and Kashmir has increased on various parameters of the Sustainable Development Goals. The world is seeing that the entire society, especially the young generation, is writing the script of a bright future for itself and the country.

The Lt Governor said that Jammu and Kashmir has always been a hub of knowledge, inclusive culture and breathtaking landscape which is divine for travellers. Describing the natural beauty of Jammu and Kashmir in the 13th century, the famous poet Amir Khusro said – Gar Firdaus bar-ru-e-zameen ast, hamin ast o, hamin ast o, hamin ast – If there is heaven on earth, it is , it is, it is. So, it should come as no surprise that Lonely Planet, one of the oldest travel guide book publishers in modern days, chose to call Jammu and Kashmir the Switzerland of India.

He said that for almost 30 years this land of peaceful co-existence of almost all religious sects had to become a victim of state sponsored terrorism by our neighboring country. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through development schemes empowering the people and effective administration of the Union Territory, has isolated the terror eco-system that flourished with support from across the border. Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a new era which has opened immense possibilities of development and peace. Now foreign investments are also coming to Jammu and Kashmir, people are looking forward to better times.

He said grassroots democracy has strengthened, new industries are coming up, rapid development of agriculture is making our villages prosperous, new institutes in higher education have opened, youth are being trained for Industry 4.0 technologies, Infrastructure development is happening at a rapid pace, digital society and our thrust on technology is turning J&K into a state. He said that our pace of execution of infrastructure projects has increased almost 10 times. In the year 2018 only 9229 projects were completed, in the last financial year we have completed 92,560 projects. This achievement is testimony to our resolve for peace and prosperity and to make all our citizens equal partners in this journey of development.


p style=”text-align: justify;”>He said that it is encouraging for us to share that Jammu and Kashmir is already working on some of the priority areas identified by the G20 Tourism Working Group. Under the guidance of Prime Minister Modi, we have ensured that the transformation in the tourism sector is focused on the needs of travelers, interests of industry stakeholders, generate employment opportunities and promote environmental awareness.

The Lt Governor said that a record 18 million tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir last year and the tourism sector contributed 7 per cent to the GDP of Jammu and Kashmir last year. We have identified 300 new destinations to promote green tourism, small and medium enterprises, youth and women entrepreneurs and involve local communities to support sustainable tourism. This Himalayan region is blessed with 55 percent green and forest cover and last year alone we have planted 16 million trees to give a fresh boost to green tourism and provide new gateways and luxurious eco-destinations for domestic and international travelers.

He said that the tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir has been given industry status as per our industrial policy and all financial incentives have been given. Jammu and Kashmir used to be a favorite destination for the Bollywood film industry till the late 1980s. After a long pause of almost 4 decades, we have revived relations with Bollywood and launched a film policy in 2021 to attract more investment in the film sector and make Jammu and Kashmir the most popular film shooting destination. Last year alone more than 300 films were shot in this region and this kind of enthusiasm is bringing a qualitative change in the lives of the people.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that we have come up with home stay facility for the travelers who want to explore the charming and charming villages. It is being promoted and marketed using the power of digital tools. We are developing the country’s first book village on the banks of Wular Lake and several hiking trails for tourists who love the peace of nature. We aim to make the countryside and popular destinations more sustainable and preserve the beauty of attractive heritage sites. I am sure J&K will soon find a place among the top 50 destinations in the world and will be on the travel bucket list of global travelers.

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