As pandemic dips, Kashmir gears up to revive tourism
Tourism division proposes particular vaccination drives for all stakeholders concerned with the business
From vaccinating 80% stakeholders to elaborate tips for lodges, the Tourism division in Kashmir has chalked out a meticulous plan to obtain vacationers once more, because the second wave of coronavirus pandemic dips considerably.
“We are working on two fronts for safe and secure means of reviving tourism, as the pandemic level is likely to dip further. First, special vaccination drives for all stakeholders involved with the tourism industry. Two, capacity building on protocols to handle tourists and ensure their safety during the stay in Kashmir,” Ahsan-ul-Haq Chisthi, Deputy Director within the Tourism division, informed The Puucho.
According to the division, round 75% tourism stakeholders, together with shikarawalas, houseboat homeowners and lodge workers across the Dal lake, have been vaccinated. Similar vaccination drives have been additionally performed in vacationer hotspots of Pahalgam and Gulmarg.
“We are speeding up the vaccination drive to ensure that all get double doses in time,” Mr. Chisthi mentioned.
The Tourism division, together with the Health division and skilled lecturers from Kashmir, is engaged on capability constructing among the many lodge workers to prepare them on how to take care of vacationer move. “We are working on new Standard Operating Procedures [SOPs] for hotels, like ensuring well ventilated and airy spaces, and new guidelines for the staff and restaurants,” Mr. Chisthi mentioned.
Gondola in Gulmarg, Asia’s highest cable automotive undertaking, has additionally been directed to cut back the variety of vacationers ferried in a cabin.
‘Make RT-PCR must’
Meanwhile, Kashmir-based tour operators have demanded that RT-PCR check must be made necessary for all vacationers heading for Kashmir now.
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“Rapid Antigen Tests [RAT] at the Srinagar airport have not been effective during the second wave. RT-PCR should be made must and the number of tourists travelling to Kashmir need to be regulated,” mentioned Nasir Shah, chairman of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, Jammu and Kashmir Chapter.
He mentioned solely vaccinated vacationers ought to e-book their tickets to “minimise the chances of any spread of the virus”. “All vehicles associated with the tourism industry should not fill more than 40% of seats,” he added.
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Mr. Shah mentioned contact-less check-ins and barcode entry to menus and so forth want to be launched.
Farooq Kuthoo, president of the Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), additionally seconded the demand of Mr. Shah to make the RT-PCR check necessary.
“We welcome the Tourism department’s move to build capacity among stakeholders. We are getting queries from prospective tourists. This is the time to put in place an effective mechanism for safe tourism,” Mr. Kuthoo mentioned.
The Tourism division got here below hearth for organising unregulated musical exhibits and Tulip backyard programmes in March this yr, which is believed to have contributed to the spike in coronavirus circumstances then.