6 TAAI set out for 36 day India expedition to encourage domestic tourism unlock
Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez Thursday said the Tourism Department is making all out efforts to encourage tourists to travel to J&K as the government has put all precautionary measures and Covid SOPs in place for safe holidaying here.
He was speaking to a team of six travel agents from Travel Agents Association of India who have teamed up for a 36 days expedition throughout India.
The team reached here on Thursday and interacted with Secretary Tourism, Director Tourism Kashmir Nisar Ahmad Wani, Deputy Directors and local travel and hospitality sector representatives.
During the interaction, Sarmad said that his department is back in the business for the promotion of the tourism sector and they are encouraging travelers to visit Kashmir.
“We have put all safety protocols in place for safe travelling of the tourists. Kashmir has always welcomed tourists and we are again ready to welcome them and ramp up tourism activities here so that economic activities receive a boost,” he said.
The Secretary Tourism said many economic sectors are gradually opening up and the travel industry also needs to unlock as a large number of people are earning livelihood from this sector.
Director Tourism Kashmir while appreciating their efforts to promote domestic tourism said they have started a fresh and vigorous promotional campaign to send a message that J&K is ready to welcome travellers.
The six participants, four are from Surat, one each from Mumbai and Ahmedabad, have embarked on this expedition to encourage domestic tourism.
“We have started the journey with the message of Vocal for Local and promotion of domestic tourism. We are getting good responses from the locals who are raring to travel,” said Rajid Shah from Surat.
The team began their road trip on 18 September from Surat and will travel for 36 days covering 18000 kilometres to encourage travellers and the hospitality sector for getting ready for the business.
”No sector has been spared from the economic downfall brought up by this pandemic and the travel industry has also been badly hit. Now as we begin to unlock in phases and everything is falling back to place. Travel industry also deserves the speed to boost back,” said Shah.
Ritesh Parekh said around 40 percent of the jobs in the travel sector have been lost and if they don’t act now there will be 100 percent job losses in coming days.
“We were hoping that situation would be back to normal quickly but it is taking time and Coronavirus is not going to phase out anytime sooner. So it is better that we started travelling and encourage people also,” Ritesh.
Other participants in the expedition include Sanjay Patel, Nitin Gupta all from Surat, Thomas Koshy from Ahmedabad and Pawan Dubey from Mumbai.
They will be going to the four corners ( Koteshwar in west, Leh in north, Tezu in East and Kanyakumari in South) of India and capitals of 34 States and Union Territories.
During the expedition, they meet the media, the local travel fraternity friends and agents. Besides, they will also motivate people to begin domestic travel by revealing how all hotels and destinations are COVID ready and looking forward to welcoming tourists with utmost health and safety measures.