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Top tourism award warms the cockles of Jammu and Kashmir hearts

Posted on Feb 18 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Fe Feb 18 : Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday bagged "The best state in the country for comprehensive development of tourism" award.

Union minister for human resource development Shashi Tharoor handed it to Jammu and Kashmir's tourism minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir during the National Tourism Award function at the Vigyan Bhawan here.

"The state government is working on a comprehensive development road map to rejuvenate tourist activities in conventional areas and also develop new areas.

"We want to assure that Jammu and Kashmir will continue to strive for improving the quality of service offered to visitors and see that high-end infrastructure is created to increase footfall from across the globe. Heritage and adventure tourism is also being explored to offer excellent services," Mir said.

The minister also highlighted the potential of the state for sports, adventure and pilgrim tourism activities.

He said Jammu and Kashmir is blessed with mesmerising, enchanting and amazing natural resorts and wide-ranging fauna, flora and bio-diversity.

Mir said there is need to promote winter sports, particularly skiing in north Kashmir's Gulmarg ski resort by upgrading slopes at Kongdoori and Mary Shoulder.

"This would help in holding national and international skiing events in Gulmarg," he said and spelt out the possibilities of making Gulmarg an international winter sports resort.

"Gulmarg winter games will be an effective step in this direction. Tourism has an important role in the state's economy and generation of wide-ranging economic activities for the people.

"Our earnest endeavours are to develop and showcase the state for round-the-year destination for tourists from all over the world," he said.

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