Directorate of Tourism Jammu holds Awareness Camps at various tourist destinations under ‘Jan Abhiyan’ initiative

Directorate of Tourism Jammu holds Awareness Camps at various tourist destinations under ‘Jan Abhiyan’ initiative

JAMMU, OCTOBER 22: Senior officers of the Directorate of Tourism Jammu conducted vigorous field tours and interacted with the members of civil society, PRI members and travel trade stakeholders. Acting on the directions of the Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department Sh. Sarmad Hafeez IAS, Joint Director Tourism Jammu Ms. Sunaina Sharma Mehta along with her team of officers visited ‘Off Beat Tourist Destinations’ at District Samba especially Baba Chamliyal and Purmandandal. It is pertinent to mention here that senior officers have been designated as ‘visiting officers’ for different districts by the Tourism Department, J&K in order to ensure that all the tourist destinations are visited and awareness camps are organized in all districts to ensure that the common people are sensitized about tourism activities, initiatives of the department like Homestay registration, tourist circuit identification, demarcation of adventure sites and activities along with imparting knowledge regarding livelihood opportunities through tourism related activities in the local areas especially at the 75 identified ‘Off Beat Tourist Destinations’ in J&K UT.

During the day long interactive awareness camp held at the offbeat tourist destination of Baba Chambliyal',the Joint Director Tourism Jammu elaborately spoke on the deliverables pertaining to the Tourism Department under Jan Abhiyaan campaign and emphasized that these deliverables are a part of the already ongoing focus of the government to develop and map all the tourist areas with potential of tourism related activities. She laid emphasis on public involvement in identification of new tourist destinations, trekking routes so that the demarcation and delineation of these areas and routes is done with a practical approach and people friendly feasibility. She also assured that all necessary support shall be given to interested persons for their training as a Tourist Guide through the Food Crafts Institute Nagrota and the department shall also hold special training camps for Homestay training so that all interested Homestay proprietors especially at the off beat tourist destinations also get an opportunity for earning livelihood at their own villages and towns. She was accompanied by Ms. Neha Mahajan Deputy Director Tourism (Planning), Ms. Shwetanki Executive Engineer BDDA, Dr. Rakesh Raina Tourist Officer Samba-Kathua, local DDC member, BDC Chairman and local PRI members. She also inspected the ongoing works at Shrine and issued necessary directions for timely completion of works. She emphasized that Baba Chambliyal is an offbeat tourist destination and among one of the prominent focus areas for the Tourism Department J&K.

Awareness camps were also held by the Tourism Department at various tourist destinations in District Reasi, Rajouri, Poonch, Doda among other places. At Ransoo, the sensitization cum awareness camp was attended by Sh. Abdul Jabbar Deputy Director Tourism Jammu who was accompanied by Ms. Ambika Bali Assistant Director Tourism Katra, where they interacted with PRI members, DDC and BDC members, travel trade stakeholders and local people to stress on the need to register in good number as ‘Homestay’ proprietors. It was impressed upon all those present in the camp that the Ransoo town is an off beat tourist destination and about 20 lakh tourists have already visited the holy Shivkhori Shrine since January 2022, the need to cater to these visiting tourists by providing them with ample options for accommodation, site seeing, local cuisines, clean living and a happy experience of visiting the area, is very important.

Similar sensitization camps were held at Baradari, Kheral, Dhanwa and Siyad Baba in Reasi District where the visiting officer Mr. Gurvinderjit Singh, Chief Executive Officer Mansar Surinsar Development Authority interacted with local stakeholders, NRLM groups and adventure trade operators regarding issues concerning the tourism industry in the area. He held detailed deliberations on various issues like Rafting at Baradari, paragliding and Ziplining at Dhanwa, role of Self Help Groups in tourism promotion among other related activities. At Kheral, Mr. Abdul Jabbar Deputy Director Tourism Jammu interacted with the NRLM self help group ladies. They welcomed the initiative of the government in providing livelihood opportunities to local rural ladies through the concept of ‘Dogra Haat’ at Kothiaan and the assistance of the tourism department in establishing the sale counters at Katra and Kheral. The hand made products are helping these local ladies to earn themselves a livelihood from the comfort of their homes and even connect with the market at Katra and through the Shivkhori circuit. The visiting officer appreciated the efforts of the local ladies in their endeavour for self employment and empowerment. He said that such initiatives are a perfect example of how local enterprises can come up with the right knowledge and skill about our local resources and such self help groups are the essence of the ‘village cooperative’ concept recently conceptualized as a deliverable for the Tourism Department to bring social change towards livelihood opportunities through tourism related activities.

At Samba, Dr . Neha Mahajan, DDT planning, XEN BDDA and Tourist officers Samba conducted field tours to Rani charak palace and pond. They were accompanied by the local Sarpanch along with Panchayat members, youth club members, Principal Sanskrit Vidyalaya and local villagers. They were briefed about various schemes of the tourism department, especially the home stay scheme and benefits thereof. Deliberations were held with the locals for tourism development in preserving the heritage of Rani charak palace and the pond.