It’s winter season in Kashmir and hopefully tourists have once again started to make a beeline to the place. At present hordes of tourists are seen roaming the tourist places in Srinagar and elsewhere and the Industry players are upbeat for another hearty tourist season.
Tourism has seen a positive change since the past more than a year now. Not only have tourists started to visit the Valley in large numbers but even in off season that place has witnessed a healthy footfall.
Tourism is the mainstays of our economy and the sector has been contributing a lot towards the economic well being of the people here. Though some disagree with the fact that tourism forms the back bone of our economy but facts and figures suggest that an increased footfall of tourists bring all round development and economic prosperity.
Since tourism in Jammu and Kashmir and especially Kashmir valley has been witnessing a massive revival, certain new ideas need to be interwoven with the trade so that it does not lose its sheen and destination Kashmir continues to dominate the tourism scene in India.
For ensuring that tourism remains a priority for the planners here and that the tourist footfall continues all through the year, various unique and innovative ideas need to be started o that the industry reports sustainability.
One such unique initiative announced by the government is the Tourist Village Development Programme (TVDP) which can be seen as a game changer. The initiative has the potential and propensity to mobilize the diverse geographical and socio-economic landscape of the entire Jammu and Kashmir.
The government started the ambitious programme under Mission Youth initiative, which aims at developing 181 villages having distinction in terms of scenic beauty, adventurous terrain, art and cultural significance, history and archaeology. The proposal though in initial stages is gaining tremendous momentum with heavy tourist influx thronging the new destinations.
Since tourism in Kashmir valley was revolving around the traditional golden triangle comprising Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg, the new initiative has meant that new destinations are being developed which hold even greater potential to attract tourists in hordes.
The main objectives of the TVD programme is to develop new tourism destinations which will integrate social, cultural and spiritual characteristics with economic contours having requisite infrastructural facilities for tourists within such selected villages.
The villages that are part of the programme were selected on the basis of their rural tourism potential in consultation with the Tourism Department by an expert committee of Mission Youth.
Interestingly, the scheme has twin benefits of promoting rural tourism and employment generation for local youth. Besides, it will also provide a new impetus to the promotion of Kashmir’s unique culture, history and its beautiful geographical locations.
Kashmir has been one of the favorite tourist destinations and over the years people who have come here for a visit have also raised concerns about the failing infrastructure that has not recorded development as it should have been over the years.
Since the new initiatives are being taken a well concerted effort should also go into creating better infrastructural capacities at the tourist locations so that the stay of the visitors becomes memorable and that too with maximum comfort.