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Dr G N Itoo holds ‘Chalo Kashmir’ Webinar with Maharashtra Tour Operators

Says besides favoured destination Gulmarg, other destination like Pahalgam have huge winter tourism potential

(Asian News Hub) – Following the interactions with the Tour and Travel fraternity of Gujarat, Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir and the Maharashtra Tour Organizers Association (MTOA) on Friday organized a Webinar on the theme ‘Chalo Kashmir’.

The Webinar panel comprised of Director Tourism, Kashmir, Dr G N Itoo, Deputy Director, Tourism Publicity Ideel Saleem, besides Asif Burza, President Hoteliers Association Pahalgam, President MTOA, Prabhu Joshi,  Vice President MTOA, Vishvajeet Patil, Treasurer MTOA, Rajan Parekh, Ex President MTOA, Sudhir Patil, Ex Vice President, MTOA, Abhijeet Patil and others.

During the interaction, Dr Itoo presented the calendar of promotional activities slated for the upcoming Spring and Summer season both within and outside J&K including holding of Pahalgam Festival next week, Almond Bloom festival in Spring at Badamwari Srinagar, Tulip Festival in April and Houseboat Festival in the summer. He said the Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir is working together with stakeholders to ensure that Tourists arriving to Kashmir Valley have a comfortable stay. He said other than Gulmarg which continues to remain among the most preferred winter tourism destination, the Department is also focusing on promoting other destinations including Pahalgam for winter tourism.

He said this year destinations like Sonmarg, Doodhpathri, Yusmarg, Kokernag will be opened early, so that tourists coming in the winter season can enjoy the scenic beauty of these places too.

Dr Itoo also apprised about the measures put in place including those related to COVID to ensure that all tourists visiting J&K have a comfortable and a memorable stay. In response to some queries raised during the Webinar, Dr Itoo assured MTOA of prompt resolution.

Asif Burza, President Pahalgam Hoteliers Association in his address appreciated the efforts of the Tourism Department in the revival of tourism amidst the COVID Pandemic challenge. “Government was successful in containing COVID here and this proved to be the biggest confidence building measure for the tourists to visit Kashmir. The sustained and vigorous tourism promotional campaign started by the Tourism Department after opening of the tourism sector in July last year has been instrumental in tourists coming to Kashmir during the winter season”, he said.

The MTOA President, Prabhu Joshi and other members spoke about their long association with J&K Tourism and reiterated their unconditional support and said that J&K will always remain among the most preferred destination for the Tour and Travel fraternity of Maharashtra.

J&K receives among the largest chunk of tourists from States like West Bengal, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

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Tesla to resume accepting Bitcoin after due diligence: CEO Elon Musk

(Asian News Hub) – Electric-car maker Tesla will “most likely” resume accepting Bitcoin as payments after it conducts due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said at a conference.

Musk’s comments at the B Word conference come after Tesla said in May it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the world’s biggest digital currency for payment.

“I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50 percent, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin” Musk said.

“Tesla’s mission is accelerating the advent of sustainable energy. We can’t be the company that does that and also not do appropriate diligence on the energy usage of bitcoin,” he added.

After the conference, Bitcoin was up 6 percent at $31,900, while ether surged 10 percent to $1,970. Tesla’s shares were down 0.8 percent at $655.30 in extended trading.

Musk added that he personally owned bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin, apart from bitcoin that Tesla and SpaceX owned.

“I might pump, but I don’t dump,” Musk said. “I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling … I would like to see bitcoin succeed.”

Inputs from Reuters

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Have a Rs 10 note with an Ashoka Pillar: Sell it for Rs 25K

(Asian News Hub) – These days people are making a lot of money by selling their old coins and notes. Old and rare coins of Re 1, Rs 2 and notes of Re 1, Rs 2 and 5 are being auctioned for thousands of rupees online.

If you have a coin of the Rs 10 denomination with Mata Vaishno Devi engraved on it, you can earn lakhs of Rupees by putting them up for auction. A Re 1 note dating back to 1977-1979 is being auctioned for Rs 45,000. The catch here however is that the note must have the signature of the former principal secretary, ministry of finance, Hirubhai Patel who served under Prime Minister, Morarji Desai.

In order for you to earn this kind of money you can visit CoinBazzar, create an account and then submit your details such as name, email, full address following which you can sell your coin or note. All you need to do is put out your coin or. Note, quote the price and wait for a buyer who will contact you directly.

If you a Rs 10 note with an Ashoka Pillar printed on one side and a boat on the other, you can earn up to Rs 25,000. This note was issued in 1943 during the British era. Further this note should have the signature of then RBI governor, C D Deshmukh and Rs 10 should be written in the English language on both ends of the note on the backside. If you have this note, you can sell it on CoinBazzar.

Currently, 10 pieces of the ONGC commemorative Rs 5 coins are selling for Rs 200 on CoinBazzar. A Rs 100 note with the numerical series 000786 with the signature of former RBI Governor Subba Rao is being sold for Rs 1,999.

AGENCY

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Tour operators demand generalization of loan package announced by FM

Jahangir Sofi

(Asian News Hub) – After the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 28th June announced the loan package for a section of stakeholders associated with the tourism industry, valley based tour operators welcoming the loan package demanded the package should be generalised for all tour operators and tourist guides.

Manzoor Ahmed Pakthoon a senior member of United Tourism Forum (UTF), an amalgam of valley based tour operators, told news agency— Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that though it is a much needed decision taken by the government, “the question is how much the valley based tour operators and tourist guides are going to get the help of it, as the package has been kept for those who are recognized by Ministry of Tourism.”

“The package should be generalised for all so that every stakeholder gets benefit out of it. Our industry has been struggling and unless there isn’t any assistance the survival of our industry is very difficult,” he said.

He further said, “there was a meeting in this regard, and in the coming days, we will approach the top authorities in the administration so that the loan package is generalised for all tour operators and tourist guides.”

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 28th June had announced financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides/travel and tourism stakeholders, under new loan guarantee scheme for COVID affected sectors, under which working capital/personal loans will be provided to people in tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to COVID-19.

Under the loan guarantee scheme, the Finance Minister said, loans of Rs 10 lakh and Rs one lakh with a hundred percent guarantee will be provided to travel firms and guides respectively.

As per the scheme, there would also be no processing charges or requirement of additional collateral on these loans, and any foreclosure or prepayment charges would also be waived off. The scheme would be administered by the Ministry of Tourism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC).

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