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Parliamentary panel meets Gulmarg hoteliers, get first-hand account of issues confronting tour operators in Ski resort

Gulmarg hoteliers seek extension in lease agreements; India’s business tycoon Anil Ambani arrives at tourist destination; hoteliers likely to meet top icon, meetings to remain informal

Srinagar, January 22, 2021: The 31- member Parliamentary delegation Thursday visited the world famous ski-resort Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district to take stock of the tourism activities and to meet hoteliers, tour operators and the picturesque tourist destination.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee along with the top officials of Tourism Department including the Principal Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez met the Hoteliers in Gulmarg to have an on the spot assessment of the Tourism facilities, infrastructure and problems being faced by the tour operators.

Secretary General Hoteliers Club Gulmarg, Tariq Gani while speaking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said, “We have presented a five-point memorandum to the delegation. We expressed our concerns and put forth demands before the delegation which included the extension of lease agreements to the hotelier whose leases have expired.”

While raising the issue of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway Hoteliers club Kashmir apprised the delegation about the frequent closure of the highway and the toll it is taking on the tourism.

” Frequent closure of Highway leads to the problems for Tourism Industry, as most of the domestic Tourists prefer to come by road, we also demanded the night landing at Srinagar International Airport”, Gani told KNO. “Post Abrogation of Article 370 & 35A and then Covid-19 lockdown hit the Tourism industry badly, we have demanded the relaxation in GST for next five years, financial assistance so that we can review our business which has suffered a lot.”

Gani said: “We have also demanded the enhancement in the budget for Tourism promotions along with that we should also be allowed for necessary renovations and repairs for our properties.” A presentation was also given by Tourism Department where in they exhibited the potential of Tourism in Gulmarg.

Pertinent to mention the visiting Parliamentary standing committee which is headed by Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh T G Venkatesh met with various stakeholders on issues related to Road, Travel, Tourism and Hospitality sectors in valley. Meanwhile, India’s top business icon, Anil Ambhani took many tour operators by a surprise after he reached the Gulmarg ski-resort this evening.

Reliable sources told KNO that Anil is likely to meet tourism officials, tour operators and hoteliers at Gulmarg but all his meetings will remain informal and not open to the media. “It is not clear whether the Anil’s visit to Gulmarg is personal or related to business vis-à-vis investment at the picturesque tourist resort. Things will be clear in a few days,” sources said—(KNO)

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