Assuring stakeholders that tourism is one of the key priority areas of the new government, chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Thursday said tourism development authorities in the state shall be soon revitalised.
The chief minister, who also holds the tourism portfolio, said in order to attract and cater to high-end tourists, the state should develop state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Sayeed was interaction with a delegation of the Tour & Travel Associations of Kashmir.
"We have to be innovative in our thinking to make Kashmir Valley a leading tourist destination of the country and abroad. Tented accommodation and building eco-cottages at tourist resorts is one innovative way to increase the low intake capacity," he told the delegates.
The chief minister also asked the managing director of J&K Tourism Development Corporation to undertake marketing drives for promoting new destinations like Sonamarg, Kokernag, Daksum, Warwan and Dodhpathri so that visitors are able to explore the Valley beyond known destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam.
Sayeed said he will work on the issue of night-landing facility at the Srinagar International Airport, realignment of the houseboats in the Dal Lake and better roads in key areas.
The chief minister also said a joint Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh tourism conference will be organised shortly to discuss issues for growth of tourism in the state.
"New tourist circuits shall be added and places like the Suru valley in Ladakh, Jai-Bhaderwah in Jammu and the Mughal Road shall be taken up on priority," he said.
Mufti Sayeed credited the tourism sector for playing a vital role in encapsulating and defining Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh in its right perspective.
"We need tourists that travel to Kashmir to come to Jammu for paying obeisance at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and vice versa. Similarly, those visiting the enchanting land of Ladakh should travel to Kashmir and Jammu to see and enjoy the unique oneness of J&K. This will come only when proper marketing strategies are in place," he added.