Mahmood Ahmad Shah, Director Tourism, Kashmir, presenting the keynote address at the 9th Annual General Meeting of Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), in Srinagar recently
SRINAGAR: High-end travellers from Bangladesh have the economic potential to be Kashmir’s prospective tourists. Tourist arrivals from Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia to Kashmir have witnessed a surge in last few months. Mahmood Ahmad Shah, Director Tourism, Kashmir, said this while presenting the keynote address at the 9th Annual General Meeting of Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), an umbrella body of travel agents.
Shah said, “Recently I was taken by surprise when a group of 350 foreign tourists arrived here. Usually we have 125 foreign tourists who come here. On enquiry, I found out that a huge group of Bangladeshi tourists have come here. The top creamy layer from Bangladesh has high spending power and we need to attract them.”
Shah said, “We need support of all stakeholders especially those who work on the grassroots level. Whenever you have any high-profile guests coming here do let us know, so that a sound bite can be recorded from him and utilised for promotion of Kashmir. A word of publicity of such important tourist can make a difference for Kashmir.He urged stakeholders of tourism industry to look beyond traditional tourist markets such as Maharashtra and Gujarat and explore newer markets.
“There is a need to change the strategy and do road shows along with other promotional activities more aggressively. The situation which has emerged for last one year has offered a lot of learning for all of us. We usually used to bank a lot on Gujarat and Maharashtra but now we need to change that strategy and explore south India as a potential tourist market,” Shah said.
Director Tourism Kashmir said the department would organise more road shows in different parts of India, especially in South India, to attract tourists back to the Jammu and Kashmir state.
“We all have to do aggressive marketing campaign through road shows and other forms,” he said.