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Jammu & Kashmir - Current Events
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
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Chief Minister Jammu & Kashmir,
invites foreign tourists to visit the “Heaven on Earth”.

Jammu, November 11 –Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah today immediately after reaching London visited Jammu and Kashmir stall in London Exhibition and also addressed seminar organized by International reputed organization Pacific Asia Travel Writers Association (PATWA) in London.

The stall of Jammu & Kashmir State in London exhibition is aimed to attract tourists to Jammu and Kashmir State and erase the impression which has been created world over that valley of Kashmir is not safe for the tourists of the world.

The Chief Minister while addressing the seminar said that world should again look towards the Jammu & Kashmir particularly the valley of Kashmir as their favourite tourist destination like they considered it in the past. He said that the pages of history are full of description, how travelers, intellectuals, writers and tourists visited the valley during past century and highlighted the beauty of not only of valley of Kashmir but entire Jammu & Kashmir before the world. He said that no doubt set-backs have been received by tourist industry in the valley during last two decades as a result of which lakhs of people associated with tourist industry were deprived of their livelihood. However, during recent past and particularly after taking over the reigns of the State, he personally initiated such steps which have proved helpful in restoring the confidence of tourists of the world for visiting the State including Kashmir valley. He said that people of Kashmir have all along since times immemorial track record of their great hospitality and providing all kinds of respect to the visiting guests and on no occasion this strong character of Kashmir was broken.

He said no doubt because of turmoil, people were not able to visit the valley but now flow of foreign tourists is increasing day by day. He said that recent successful visit of 22 Ambassadors and High Commissioners to the valley and their free movement in all tourists destinations of the valley is clear proof of the same.

Chief Minister informed the august gathering in London that tourist infrastructure of the State particularly of the valley has not only been restored back but new destinations have been developed. He said large number of tourist development authorities have been established in order to develop the new tourist destinations in all provinces of the State.

While referring the potential of tourism in the valley, Mr. Omar Abdullah said that the whole world is unanimous of the fact that the valley is heaven on the earth and every individual has inherent urge to visit this heaven. He said that now this heaven is open for all so that they visit it as per their own convenience and timing. He said efforts are being made to make this place round the year tourist destination. He said not only early spring, summer or autumn is worth visiting the heaven but Gulmarg is vivid example that tourists can enjoy skiing on the high clefts and snow during winter as well.

The Chief Minister while addressing PATWA, the tourists travel agents of the world and other intellectuals asked them to encourage the visit of tourists to our State so that it will not only prove beneficial for individual tourists but mutual love will be strengthened and age-old relationships are restored back. He said that answer to present turmoil which is witnessed in different parts of the world is only when people of different places make determined efforts to strengthen people to people relationship which will help peace to prevail throughout the world and people will understand benefits of mutual love and brotherhood.

The well known personalities, intellectuals, writers, tour operators and social organizations participated in the seminar, besides Kumari Shelija, Union Tourism Minister, the Tourism Minister, Jammu & Kashmir, Minister of State for Tourism, Secretary Tourism were also present along with Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir. There was maximum participation of youth of London in the seminar who view Omar Abdullah as the Icon of young generation of the world.

Source: Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Department of Information, Press Note, November 11, 2009

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