Dhavan Desai Regional Manager of Divya Bhaskar, one of the highest circulation Gujarati dailies, presents flower bouquet to Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah.

Srinagar, Dec 21: In order to tap the traditional market of Gujarat for tourism, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah visited Ahmedabad and interacted with leading media organizations and also with the tour and travel agents of the state.

Director tourism interacted with editorial boards of the leading local media houses including Divya Bhaskar, My FM and Gujarat Samachar and informed them about the effects of negative reporting on the Kashmir tourism. Gujarat Samachar and Divya Bhaskar are the highest selling dailies in Gujarat.

Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah at ‘Tag Family Get Together’ event organised by Tour Operators and Travel Agents Association (TAG) of Gujarat

The Director Tourism urged them to highlight the positive side of the Kashmir also which includes its centuries old culture, tradition, art and craft, rich hospitality besides bewitching landscape.

Notably, Gujarat is the principal market for Kashmir where from around 60 per cent of the total travellers visit J&K.

Pursuant to his meeting with the newspaper heads, many leading newspapers have started carrying beautiful winter pictures of the Kashmir especially of Gulmarg which is receiving good rush of tourists after recent snowfall.

The Director Tourism also had a live chat with the listeners of the My FM radio station where in he informed them about the department’s recently launched Valley Weekend programs, upcoming winter festivals and host of the adventure sports activities to be organized on Christmas and New Year at Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Patnitop.

He invited them to celebrate holidays in Kashmir this winter where hoteliers are also organizing evening entertainment activities.

During his tour, special function ‘Tag Family Get Together’ was organised by Tour Operators and Travel Agents Association (TAG) of Gujarat in which around 400 tour operators and participants from hospitality sector attended. Director Tourism Kashmir was the only chief guest in the function who spoke to the travel agents about Kashmir tourism products.

He assured travel fraternity of all the facilities and cooperation from the department for organizing memorable tours for their clients in J&K.

“Gujarat is not only a traditional but a principal market for Kashmir. We have seen dip in the tourist influx from the Gujarat this year due to continued negative media reportage which compelled us to reach out to the media houses in the state and also gear up for aggressive marketing there,” said Director tourism Kashmir.

TAG also organized Press Conference on Kashmir tourism in which Director Tourism answered many queries on the safety concerns.

President TAG Jitu Shah assured Director Tourism that the travel agents will sell Kashmir as a special destination for winter and for upcoming seasons.

The department is also planning to organize a travel show in Ahmadabad in the first week of February to further reinforce the bond between the two states in tourism trade.

Local travel and hospitality sector in J&K have appreciated the move of the Director Tourism Kashmir to personally meet media houses, travel agents and also locals through FM for the promotion of the state tourism and dispel negative perception on Kashmir among potential travellers.