Tangmarg: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday expressed his displeasure over the reports of uncalled pressure tactics by the `pony-wallas` on tourists at the famous hill resort of Gulmarg. He said such a behaviour is against the traditional hospitality of the Valley.
The Chief Minister said the hospitality and high quality service to tourists which has remained the traditional trait of the people of the Valley, should be maintained under all circumstances and its impact should be visible from the faces of visitors.
"We have reports that there are about 7,000 Pony-wallas operating in Gulmarg as against 1,500 registered. Their functioning and treatment with the tourists is not upto the standard as should have been.
"We could have not allowed the unregistered ones to work but for their livelihood government is not taking this step. However, it should not mar the basics of tourism trade and create bad impression in the minds of visitors," Omar said after inaugurating Drungi Micro Hydro Power Project on Ferozpur Nallah, 45 kms from Srinagar.
"If it goes unchecked the day will come when tourists do not like to visit Gulmarg," he said and asked Pony-wallas and others in tourism trade to sit with the concerned government departments and work out strategy and situation where they could earn their livelihood respectfully as also earn the most required good will of the tourists.
"Honesty and high manners should remain the character and characteristic of every stakeholder in tourism and tourist trade to help its flourishing and strengthening.
"Your impact and well behaviour should encourage visitors to visit here again and again", Omar said, adding, the income earning from tourist sector is the right of all but it should not be at the cost of the name and fame of the State.