Mubashir Aalam Wani
Srinagar, Nov 4: With the flourishing of the tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir, the government is mulling to explore the cultural tourism in the union territory to showcase its rich culture to the visitors.
A vision document reads that the tourism department in the next 5-10 years has targeted to promote cultural tourism through various mediums.
In cultural tourism, the document said that the department will offer cultural tourism experience such as traditional village home stays, artisan workshops and cultural festivals.
“Diversification of tourism activities and developing new types of tourism experiences, such as adventure tourism, eco-tourism and cultural tourism in order to appeal to a wider range of visitors,” it said.
Pertinently, cultural tourism has been booming in India with high-end tourists mostly preferring to explore the culture of various states in India.
Rajasthan has been one of the prime destinations where cultural tourism has been attracting tourists from across the world.
The government earlier this year launched the “restoration of Architectural Heritage” scheme for the restoration of architectural heritage sites.
Under the scheme, 16 architectural buildings including shrines, temples, churches and Gurudwaras are being restored in the first phase in Kashmir.
The vision document also said sustained online campaigns and offline events will follow to promote cultural tourism and create awareness about off-beat destinations of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Online campaigns and offline events to create awareness about offbeat destinations to bring the lesser known destinations on tourism maps is an achievable target,” it said.
The document said that specific tourism themes will be identified to further enhance the tourists flow to various destinations of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Another strategy to promote lesser known destinations in the short terms will be to identify specific tourism themes that the destination boasts of and then create a circuit map that includes these destinations as a part of a wider itinerary. This approach can help to decentralise the focus on traditional, heavily visited destinations and spread tourism more evenly across the region,” it said.
Tourism players claimed that the valley has a great scope to attract high-end tourists if the cultural aspect of tourism is explored.
“We have ancient buildings, temples and shrines, which can attract tourists worldwide. Further, more holding folk festivals as it is being held in Rajasthan, can be beneficial for the tourism industry at large,” said Umar Ahmad, a travel agent.