Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board increases quota of Helicopter bookings for local travel trade
Srinagar (Kashmir) May \25 – With a view to ensuring that progressively increasing economic benefits accrue to the local tourism industry in Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) has decided to substantially enhance the allocation of Helicopter seats during the Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2011. This increase is aimed at the promotion of tourism related activities in the State and progressively increasing the involvement and participation of all the local stakeholders in the promotion of the pilgrimage-tourism interface.
Decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held by the Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra, who is the Chairman of SASB, with the representatives of the Travel and Tour Operators of J&K, at Raj Bhavan, here today.
It was announced that the SASB would earmark and release a daily quota of 180 Helicopter seats to the four recognized Travel and Tour Operators, two each from the Kashmir and Jammu Divisions. Thus, 45 seats shall be allocated to each of the four Travel and Tour Operators from Jammu and Kashmir. Of the daily quota of 180 helicopter seats, 140 would be for the Baltal-Panchtarni route and 40 for the Pahalgam-Panchtarni sector. This arrangement would be reviewed in the next meeting between CEO of the Shrine Board, and the representatives of the Travel and Tour Operators of Jammu and Kashmir regions to be held in the first week of June to take into account the actual utilization of the presently allotted quota by each of the concerned Travel and Tour Operators.
\ Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said that every stakeholder must work in the best interest of the State and make all possible efforts to ensure that every visitor to the State feels welcome and comfortable. He observed that this will result in both the pilgrims and the leisure tourists carrying back pleasant memories of their visits to various parts of the State. He added that this, in turn, will also significantly contribute towards promoting tourist activities for the rapid economic growth and generation of employment avenues in the Stateof Jammu & Kashmir. He suggested that the Travel and Tour Operators may constitute a Coordination Committee for coordinating all tourism activities in the State, particularly across the Jammu and Kashmir regions. Emphasizing the need for creation of high standard wayside tourist facilities and constantly upgrading tourist infrastructure for progressively promoting tourism sector in the State, the Chairman stressed the high advantage of various tourist circuits being suitably interconnected so that pilgrims and leisure tourists could be enabled to also visit various other places in the State.
Thanking the Chairman of the Shrine Board for enhancing the quota of helicopter bookings, the representatives of the Travel and Tour Operators, who participated in the meeting, felt that this decision of the Board would give impetus to the promotion of tourism activities in the State. They said that the Travel and Tour Operators have been working in tandem with the Shrine Board in the past and assured the Chairman of complete support for fully facilitating the ensuing Shri Amarnathji Yatra - 2011.
The representatives of the Travel and Tour Operators who participated in the meeting included President, Travel Agents Society of Kashmir, Mr. Abdul Khaliq Wangnoo, its Vice President, Mr. Zaffar Baktoo, Hony Secretary General, Mr. Mohammed Rafiq Siah, Hony Treasurer, Mr. Mir Anwar, President, Travel Agents Association of Kashmir, Haji A. Rauf Tramboo, its Hony General Secretary, Mr. Daayal Mir, President, Association of Jammu Travel Agents, Mr. Inderpal Singh, its General Secretary, Mr. Harish K. Gosain, President, Travel Agents Association of Jammu, Mr. R. S. Kotwal, its Secretary, Mr. B. B. Kotwal, President, Association of Jammu Travel Agents, Mr. Amrik Singh and its General Secretary, Mr. Asif Iqbal.
The Principal Secretary to the Governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, Mr. R. K. Goyal and the Additional Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Preet Pal Singh were present in the meeting.