Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], September 27 (ANI): On the occasion of World Tourism Day, the Tourism Department of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday organised various activities including water sports and 'Shikara race' in Dal Lake, Srinagar.
The department has come forward to organise the event to kickstart the tourism activities in the Union Territory amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Nisar Ahmad Wani, Director Tourism, Kashmir said, "We are celebrating the occasion across the Union Territory. We have sports activities and cultural programmes at various tourist spots like Srinagar, Gulmarg."
COVID-19 pandemic lockdown resulted in the closure of all the businesses in the valley. The tourism sector was also badly affected. But now during the unlock phase, the tourism sector has started reopening as they follow SOPs introduced by Jammu and Kashmir administration.
"Our motive is to boost the tourism sector and spread the message that Kashmir is ready for tourism. The sector was impacted due to coronavirus but now the administration has introduced standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the tourism sector. It will help the tourists here to contain the spread of the virus during their visit," Wani added.
The administration took the decision to boost the tourism sector with many more programs in the coming days. They are organising these programs in other famous tourist destinations in Kashmir to invite tourists to come to the Union Territory.
"We are also promoting the tourism sector in various states including Delhi and Mumbai welcoming people to visit the Union Territory," he said.
On the occasion, Bilki Shamir, National Coach of Kayaking and Canoeing said that the administration has organised the programme. During the programme, people will see activities like Kayaking, Canoeing, Shikara race, surfing.
Shamir said, "Jammu and Kashmir has various natural water resources which promotes water sports here."
"We hope to revive the tourism sector and welcome more tourists," she added.
Hamid Aziz, a participant said, " I have participated in the cycle race along. These activities will help in boosting the tourism of the Union Territory."
Jaan Saheb of the Tourism Department said, "We want to give out a message that all the tourist spots are open in Jammu and Kashmir during the coronavirus lockdown. All the people visiting here should follow the SOPs issued by the administration." (ANI)