The state government has decided to experiment in the education-cum-tourism sector by promoting tourist hotspot Pahalgam into education destination hub on the lines of Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh.
Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday stressed to link high-end tourism with top class education. "Pahalgam will be developed as an all-season destination after its Master Plan is approved by the state cabinet. Pahalgam valley can develop as a leisure-cum-education centre on the pattern of Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh," he said.
Pahalgam, a tourist destination, is 90 km south of Srinagar and remains a preferred destination among local and foreign tourists.
Besides quality schools and institutes, the chief minister said a cluster of mainstream and adventure institutes in the resort can add to its unique selling proposition.
"Taking up add-on activities like skiing, ropeway from Mammal to Bysaran, mountain biking in Aru and joyrides for children in Pahalgam amusement park will attract tourists to Pahalgam. We have to offer them wholesome entertainment," he said.
He directed the tourism department to devise a plan to attract visitors to other tourist spots like Aru and Betaab Valley in winter months.
Emphasizing upon scientific disposal of solid waste to keep the resort clean, the chief minister directed the chief executive officer of the Pahalgam Development Authority to identify a suitable chunk of land for the purpose.
He also directed the tourism department to undertake awareness campaigns about ecological conservation. "The Pahalgam Development Authority will ensure picking up of discarded bottles and tins littered around the bowl to ensure its cleanliness, an activity which shall be outsourced by the PDA," he said.