SRINAGAR – Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Sarmad Hafeez, today chaired a meeting to review arrangements being put in place for upcoming festivals and events planned by the department for the coming months at various tourist destinations across Kashmir valley.
The meeting deliberated upon all requisite arrangements and preparedness of the department for the ‘Grand Winter Festival’ to be held in the last week of December at tourist resorts of Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary asked the officers to prepare a proper event calendar for these mega festivals so that all activities are conducted totally in a professional manner. He said that celebrities of national repute are expected to participate in these events and it should be our prime concern that all requisite facilities are put in place in time.
He said that with conduct of tourism activities during winters here these spots would be promoted as round the year tourist destinations across the country and abroad as well.
Secretary asked the concerned to make Pahalgam Club operational 24×7 so that tourists, visitors and players related to winter sports are provided facilities. He also instructed them to ensure that all beautification works being done in the Pahalgam market are completed in time.
He also asked the officers for exploring possibility of creating natural ice skating rinks at Pahalgam and Sonamarg tourist destinations. He said that possibilities would also be explored to set up an open air theatre at Gulmarg and ice parks at Gulmarg and Sonamarg.
Secretary directed the officers to see options for a Family Tour of acclaimed travel bloggers during the festivals jointly by the Tourism Department and other stakeholders.
The meeting also reviewed and discussed availability of basic amenities to be made available for tourists during the events. Besides, skiing would soon be made functional in Pahalgam with identification of new slopes and a ski shop would also be established at the location so that skiers and ski enthusiasts would be provided skiing gadgets and equipments at reasonable rates.
The meeting was attended by Director Tourism Kashmir, Dr G N Itoo, Joint Director Tourism, Kashmir, Chief Executive Officers of Development Authorities, concerned officers besides other stakeholders.