Want to become Kashmir's 'brand ambassador', visit the Valley | india | Hindustan Times
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Want to become Kashmir's 'brand ambassador', visit the Valley

india Updated: Aug 11, 2009 20:23 IST
Arun Joshi
Arun Joshi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Here's your chance to become the brand ambassador of Kashmir. This offer is open to all foreign and domestic tourists visiting the Valley.

The man recruiting the brand ambassadors is Kashmir's youngest Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

All that you have to do is to visit Kashmir Valley, stay where ever you like- Gulmarg , Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Srinagar- all major tourist resorts of the Valley.

And if Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, 39, happens to meet any of the visitors- Indians or foreigners, or, these visitors are present at any of the functions, be it rafting competition or an international buyer seller meet, he is going to offer the brand ambassadorship of Kashmir to them.

"You are welcome here. Enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Kashmir and once you are back home, please tell your people , what you saw and what you experienced," he told the audience, many of them foreigners from New Zealand , Slovokia, South Korea, Japan and other nations besides the domestic tourists at Sonamarg, 100 kms north of Srinagar on August 5.

Then comes the offer: "You be Kashmir's brand ambassadors," Omar told the visitors.

On last Saturday, he repeated this offer at an international buyer-seller meet of Kashmiri handicraft at Sher-e-Kashmir International Centre Complex ( SKICC), Srinagar.

Well, that's all.

There are no signing amounts, no contracts - only the bonds of Kashmir with visitors through its hospitality and the "sea change" that has taken place in the Valley in the past 20 years.

Omar jumped onto a rafting boat, with a borrowed T-shirt and shorts from New Zealand team, which had come to take part in the second international Kashmir Cup rafting championship, on the rapids of river Sindh. It was his way of recruiting brand ambassadors for Kashmir on August 5.

He encountered the "life threatening" rapids, but had won the unwritten contract, without paying even a single penny, from the visitors to become the brand ambassadors of Kashmir in their country.

Three days later New Zealanders won the championship.

The team and other participants were having plans to sell Kashmir as a safe and beautiful destination.

"We will come again," all of them said in unison, and "will bring many more with us."