Secretary Tourism Rigzian Sampheal and Secretary Youth Services & Sports Sarmad Hafeez along with Deputy Commissioner Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah gave away awards to the stalwarts of the tourism industry for their contribution to the success of the 64th convention and exhibition of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) held here from March 27 to 29 this year.

TAAI – JK Chapter, which organized the award ceremony gave away over 40 mementoes to the contributors here.

On the occasion, Chief Guest Rigzian Sampheal said travel industry is doing the commendable job to attract tourists here by organizing such exhibitions in the state and also by their participation in the road shows and travel marts within and outside the country.

He said though tourist footfall was low but the travel industry is optimistic about its revival for which both the department and the private players have to work together for the promotion of the sector.

He said the department is organizing Kashmir Autumn Festival from October 25 to October 27 at Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg to promote tourism.

“We will be inviting the leading tourism destination sellers from across the country on a FAM tour here during the festival so that they get a first-hand experience of how beautiful the Valley is and how freely the tourists are enjoying holidays and local hospitality. This will help us counter negative perception to a greater extent,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Sarmad Hafeez said TAAI convention was held in the State after a gap of 32 years, which is a big achievement and has helped attract tourists to the state.

Among others, Deputy Director Tourism Reyaz Shah, Assistant Commissioner Central with Div Com Qazi Irfan, Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Srinagar, Peerzada Zahoor, Sub- Divisional Magistrate, Srinagar (East) Reyaz Beigh, Assistant Commissioner Development Budgam Wasim Raja, PHD Kashmir Chapter Chairman and Hotelier Club Chairman Mushtaq Chaya, KCCI President Sheikh Ashidq, President TASK Mir Anwar, Past President TASK M Ibrahim Siah, Chairman PILTOF Nasir Shah, Chairman JKTA Manzoor Pakhtoon, Secretary General KHAROF Maqsood Misri, TTIG Chairman Akram Siah, Chairman AKTO Nazir Mir Senior Assistant Professor (Tourism) University of Kashmir Dr Shahnawaz Ahmad Dar were present.

Chairman Houseboat Owners Association A Hamid Wangnoo, Past Chairman Houseboat Owners Association G R Siah, NTAA Chairman Manzoor Wangnoo, Tanvir Hussan Dar and Sameer Ahmad Baktoo of JK Chapter TAAI were also present at the ceremony.

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