Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Manoj Sinha on May 23 inaugurated ‘3rd Tourism Working Group Meeting’ at SKICC Srinagar in presence of Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh; Union Minister of Culture, Tourism and the Development of the North Eastern Region, Shri G Kishan Reddy and Union Minister of State for Tourism and Defence Shri Ajay Bhatt. The inaugural ceremony was attended by the delegates of G20 nations, international organisations and invited countries.
Speaking on the occasion, Lieutenant Governor J&K, Sh. Manoj Sinha said, under India’s G20 Presidency, the G20 tourism working group is focusing on five inter- connected priority areas that will provide a roadmap for tourism as a tool for achieving sustainable development goals.
Sh. Sinha further said, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Jammu & Kashmir will soon find its place in the top 50 destinations in the world and it will be on the travel bucket list of global travellers. J&K is developing the country’s largest book village on the banks of Wular lake as the aim is to make the countryside and popular destinations more sustainable and preserve the beauty of fascinating heritage sites, emphasized LG J&K.
Sh. Sinha said, after a long pause of almost four decades, J&K has revived the relationship with Bollywood and launched a film policy in 2021 to attract more investment into film sector and to make Jammu Kashmir most popular film shooting destination.
“It is a poetry. It’s a land of realisation. It is an energy field vibrating with the ageless Indian cultural values. Tourism in Jammu Kashmir is also a reflection of multi-religious and multi-cultural ethos of India. Under the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji, we have ensured that the transition in tourism sector in the backdrop of pandemic focuses on needs of travellers, interests of industry stakeholders, creates employment opportunities and promote environmental awareness,” Sh. Sinha said.
Speaking during the inaugural session, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the logo and the theme together convey a powerful message of India’s G20 Presidency, which is of striving for just and equitable growth for all in the world.
While welcoming the delegates, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the theme of India’s G20 Presidency- “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth, One Family, One Future” – is drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad. The theme affirms the value of all life– human, animal, plant, and microorganisms & their interconnectedness on the planet earth and in the wider universe, Dr. Singh emphasized.
Dr. Singh said, J&K has advanced with unique infrastructure like the world’s highest rail bridge ‘Chenab Bridge’ higher than the Eiffel tower and India’s longest highway tunnel Chenani-Nashri Tunnel, is also Asia’s longest bi-directional highway tunnel which are the magnets of attraction for tourism sector in J&K.
Dr. Singh said, he is delighted to share that the Basohli art form has obtained the Geographical Indication (GI) tag bringing international recognition to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr. Singh maintained that the five priorities in 3rd Tourism Working Group constitute the key building blocks for accelerating the transition of the tourism sector and in achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals 2030.
Sh. G. Kishan Reddy while speaking during the inaugural session said, Ministry of Tourism is keen to work with G20 nations to promote sustainable tourism in India and around the world.
Sh. Reddy further said, a significant progress has been made in the five key priority areas under 3rd Tourism Working Group Meeting namely Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, MSMEs and Destination Management. These priorities are key building blocks for accelerating the transition of the tourism sector and achieving the targets for 2030 SDGs, he emphasised.
Sh. Reddy said, Tourism Working Group is progressing in the right direction and the joint effort of G20 nations, international organisations and invited countries will result in the achievement of inclusive and action oriented decisive guidelines for the tourism industry.
G20 Sherpa, Sh. Amitabh Kant said, the commendable progress has been made in the five key priority areas under 3rd Tourism Working Group Meeting under Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, MSMEs and Destination Management. Tourism is a major driver of growth, a major driver of job creation, Sh. Kant emphasized.
Sh. Kant said, tourism sector has a very critical role to play in skilling, re-skilling for the tourism sector and this skilling can play a major role in job creation.
The delegates of G20 nations, invited countries and international organisations besides union Minister of State for Tourism and Defence Shri Ajay Bhatt, Chief Coordinator, G20, Sh. Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Secretary Tourism, Sh. Arvind Singh were also present during the inaugural session.