STATE TIMES NEWS ANANTNAG: Advisor to Governor, K. Sakandan on Monday convened a meeting of Tourism Officers, Hoteliers, Travel and Tour Operators, Trekking Associations, Adventure Tour Operators, Ponywallas, Traders Federation Pahalgam, Taxi Operators, White Water Rafting and other stakeholders related with tourism sector. The President Hoteliers Association apprised the Advisor about various problems and challenges faced by the Hoteliers and requested for quick redressal of their genuine issues. They also raised the issue that tourism has not been taken as industry and demanded to exempt tourism sector from GST. During the meeting, the Advisor was informed that Pahalgam has as many as 12000-bedroom capacity and demanded special attention by the government for funding this sector. President Adventure Tour Operators Association informed the chair about sanitation problem at Tarsar Marsar and other high altitude lakes. Demands with regard to afforestation by the concerned agencies, construction of common facility centre, macadamization of 2.5 M Laripora Road and Golf Course Road, permissions for making necessary repairs & renovations of old structures were also raised in the meeting. The District Development Commissioner Anantnag, Khalid Jahangir informed that a common facility centre and a common laundry centre will be set up under MSME for which PDA will identify the land. He also made some suggestions for the promotion of the Tourism sector and said that Pahalgam being an international tourist spot will be made 24*7 all weather tourist destination and winter sports tournaments will also be organised in the area. He added that activities like water rafting, angling, mountaineering and Golfing will be promoted in Pahalgam for attracting tourists from across the world. The Advisor heard the issues, grievances and demands put forth by the stakeholders and assured them that government is committed for the overall development of the tourism sector and necessary measures will be taken to address the issues. He directed the DDC Anantnag to frame a committee for settlement of the lease applications with the concerned departments after fixation of rates, PDA was directed to identify helipad site in consultation with Hoteliers and Travel Operators. AD Tourism was asked to provide guidance to the youth for participating in different kinds of tourism related activities, besides identifying a spot for CFC, which will provide all facilities to the tourists & tourism related stakeholders.
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