Bumper Tourism! This March breaks 10-year-old tourist arrival record in Kashmir
Credit goes to sustained promotion campaign; team work of tourism dept, all stakeholders related to sector, says Director Tourism; Hotels, house boats booked for next two months; Expecting bumper tourism in this spring, rest of year: Sec Tourism Sarmad Hafeez
Srinagar, March 28 (ANH): After suffering immensely for the past two years due to the deadly pandemic, Kashmir’s tourism sector has got a big push as the ensuing month of March has recorded the highest ever tourist arrivals, breaking all records of the past ten years.
The Tourism department and the stakeholders associated with the sector have more to cheer as the majority of hotels and houseboats across Kashmir have advance bookings till May.
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Talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) Director Tourism Kashmir, G N Itoo said that the ensuing month has registered a record number of tourist arrivals in Kashmir. “The figure is indeed the highest ever in the past ten years,” he said, not preferring to reveal the exact figure of tourists that visited Kashmir in March so far for obvious reasons.
He, however, claimed that the number of tourists that visited Kashmir in March is indeed the first time if compared to the past ten years.
Itoo said credit for the bumper tourism in March goes to the sustained tourism promotion campaign by the department and the serious efforts put in by all stakeholders including travel agents, tour operators, house boat owners, and even pony wallas.
“We hope to see record arrivals of tourists in the next two months given the advance bookings hotels and houseboat owners have received,” he beamed.
Speaking to KNO, Secretary Tourism and Culture J&K, Sarmad Hafeez said that the Tourism department held a series of road shows and promotion campaigns in Bhubneshwar, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangaluru and other places to ensure tourists arrive in Kashmir. “A series of steps were taken to woo tourists to Kashmir as tourism suffered a lot due to the past two years of pandemic,” he said.
Hafeez said that the Tourism department worked on many fronts including promoting Tulip garden and Mughal gardens as tourist destinations besides presenting Almond bloom to tourists as well. “For the first time, Pahalgam was jam packed even in bone chilling winters. This indeed is an achievement. We are also showcasing Kashmir’s traditional food cuisine and various varieties of Kashmiri bread in gardens including Tulip garden,” he said, adding that tourists should enjoy different varieties of food and bread during their visit to Kashmir.
He also confirmed that the majority of hotels and houseboats of Kashmir have received advance booking which signifies that Valley is all set to host a large number of tourists this spring and for the rest of the year.
Travel Companion facilitates business meet for over 400 delegates in Sgr
A Kashmir-based travel company, Travel Companion, has successfully facilitated a business meet for over 400 business delegates from all over India.
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The event was held at SKICC in Srinagar, and was organized for Rex Remedies Pvt Ltd, one of India’s largest Hamdard companies.
The decision to hold the event in Srinagar was made after Travel Companion committed to make arrangements for the participants, which included flights for the delegates from 13 major states of India.
Burhan ul Haq, CEO of Travel Companion, spoke with the Asian News Hub (ANH) about the challenges faced by the company in persuading Rex Remedies to choose Srinagar instead of Dubai as the venue for their business meet.
He also expressed his belief that Kashmir has the capacity to host huge corporate events for national and multinational companies.
During the event, Burhan interacted with the participants, informing them about the facilities offered in Kashmir with regards to leisure and corporate tourism.
The success of the event was acknowledged by Rex Remedies Pvt Ltd, who presented Burhan with a certificate of appreciation for his efforts.
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This event is a significant step towards promoting Kashmir as a destination for corporate events and tourism, and Travel Companion’s success in organizing the business meet will certainly open ways for other business corporates to organize such business meetings in Kashmir valley.
Bitcoin falls below $20K as 2023 rally reverses
The price of bitcoin (BTC) has fallen below the $20,000 level for the first time since mid-January because a wave of bearish news has overwhelmed crypto’s strong 2023 uptrend.
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The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization quickly regained some of its lost ground late Thursday (ET) and was recently hovering at about $20,040, down 7.7% over the past 24 hours.
After reaching a record high of over $69,000 in November 2021, bitcoin tumbled late that year and all through 2022 to begin 2023 at around $16,600. A powerful rally into mid-February had bitcoin ahead more than 50% for the year at one point to $25,000.
KEA calls on Managing Director, CEO J&K Bank
Requests for comprehensive financial solutions for small time traders and soft OTS policy
Kashmir Economic Alliance(KEA) called upon the J&K Bank MD and CEO Baldev Parkash at the bank’s corporate headquarters here on Tuesday to discuss the issues faced by the business community and also the way forward.
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Delegation was led by its Chairman Haji Mohammad Yaseen Khan accompanied Qazi Tauseef who represented KTMF. Senior officers from J&K Bank Management which include Ashutosh Sareen, Syed Rais Maqbool, Syed Shujaat Hussain & Shabir Ahmad were present in the meeting.
KEA while expressing gratitude to the MD & CEO for his timely outreach to the bank’s different stakeholders especially business community besides extending the much needed financial support to the affected, raised some issues concerning business community and also suggested that customer service at operative levels needs to be improved and made more responsive.
Khan who also heads Kashmir Traders & Manufacturers Federation(KTMF) requested the chairman for setting up an bridge which shall oversee the issues faced by the traders and also to explore the common areas of interest. They will brainstorm on the progress and challenges in the sectors besides deliberating on the resolution of stressed assets of the bank. Khan assured Managing Director J&K Bank that the Alliance would play an active role in resolution of such cases.
Interacting with the management J&K Bank, Khan said there is a lot of synergy between Alliance and the bank. We would continue to work in close coordination and explore and exploit the under-serviced and potential sectors of the economy to strengthen the economy. KEA requested the bank to leverage the credit guarantee fund scheme in an improved manner. There is no denying the fact J&K Bank is lifeline of J&K economy and people have huge expectations from this institution. With businesses in a slower path, J&K Bank has a vital role to play in getting the economy back on its feet, Khan observed.
While putting forward many suggestions before the MD, KEA requested for comprehensive financial solutions for small time traders and soft OTS policy. The members also urged the bank to revisit the lending policies pertaining to horticulture, education, relax lending guidelines to general traders falling under MSME sector, review rating mechanism and formulate a restructuring plan to provide additional funding to the borrowers.
Reiterating the trust reposed by the people of J&K state in the state’s premier financial institution, KEA expressed a feeling of pride for being associated with the Bank which they said, “is the only bank they bank upon” and a buttress to the trade and the business community. They requested the chairman to introduce schemes for the development of sports and medical infrastructure and promotion of education sector as well.
While interacting with the members of the delegation, MD & CEO Baldev Parkash assured the delegation members that their suggestions and the issues discussed would be considered by the bank on merit and resolved in a time bound manner.
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