Srinagar: Centre has approved sanction of nearly Rs 350 crore for development of 35 projects including a mega circuit and laser show in Srinagar`s Dal lake as part of its financial assistance to promote tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Centre has committed development of 35 more tourism projects of Rs 180 crore to the State. Under these projects besides development of new tourism spots, up-gradation of infrastructure at existing tourism places would get priority," state Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora said at a function here yesterday.
The Minister said Union Tourism Ministry has also approved mega circuits for Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh, each costing Rs 50 crore for promotion of pilgrim tourism.
To attract more tourists to the Valley, a laser show in Dal Lake would be organised for which Rs 12 crore have been approved by the Centre, the minister said.
Jora said the state government with the financial assistance from the Centre has taken several measures to promote the tourism potential of the state for marketing it on a large canvass at national and international level.
He said unique tourism attractions being developed at tourism spots under development authorities would ensure that visiting tourists would not get bored instead they would witness different attractions and extend their holidays.
A water centre is being developed at Mansabal Lake in Ganderbal district and from next year no motorboat would be allowed to drive in Dal Lake, the minister said.
Exploitation of adventure tourism is receiving focused attention of the Government, he said adding that after completion of the 2nd phase of Kangdoori-Marrishoulder chair left in famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir this year an international skiing event would be organised there.
He said this year Heli skiing events have been organised at Gulmarg and Pahalgam.
The Minister said an Everest Marathon event would be held during August in Leh. A rafting championship would also be organised in September this year, Jora said, adding that a national level Adventure tour operator`s convention would also be held at Srinagar to promote the adventure tourism potential of the state.
The Minister said to provide skill training under tourism sector to the youth hospitality certificate course would be introduced in six ITI`s of the state, three each at Kashmir and Jammu.
Besides, the skill training under `hunar sey-rozgar` would be provided to 2000 to 3000 youth of the State during this year, he said.
He said food craft centre Jammu would be upgraded to the level of hotel management institute while in Leh food craft centre hotel management courses would be introduced this year.
Minister of State for Tourism Nasir Aslam Wani said promotion of golf tourism is also priority of the Government and in this direction concerted efforts are being made to develop golf infrastructure in the state.
He said efforts of the Government are to maintain its courses at International standards for global marketing. Wani said a golf tournament of Asian Countries would be organised in Kashmir for which, necessary preparations are being made.
In near future International golf tournament will also be organised in the State, he said.
Giving details of development of new golf courses, the minister said Pahalgam Golf Course have been completed while as up-gradation of Gulmarg Golf Course is being completed this year.
He said first phase 9-hole Sidhra golf course has been completed and second phase 9-hole of this course would be completed this financial year.