Gates open for Bollywood, Hollywood in J&K: LG Sinha at G-20 meet

SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Tuesday said that the UT reflects multi-cultural ethos of India and the administration led by him has revived film tourism under the film policy 2021 to open the gates of ‘paradise’ for Bollywood and Hollywood.

Addressing the inaugural session of the third G-20 Tourism Working Group meeting at SKICC on the banks of Dal Lake, the Lt Governor said the UT administration has rolled-out film policy in 2021 to open gates for bollywood and hollywood.

“In 2022, more than 300 films and serials were shot in J&K,” the LG said. “We have included hundreds of new tourist destinations on the UT’s tourist map. Many tourist destinations are already on the global map. In 2022, 18 million tourists visited J&K contributing 7 per cent to the total GDP of the UT.”

LG Sinha said, “It is a matter of great pride for 13 million citizens of the Union Territory to host this G20 meeting of tourism working group that is deliberating on global architecture for sustainable tourism.”

He said, J&K have always been a centre of wisdom, knowledge, inclusive culture & breathtaking landscape that is divine to travelers. Famous poet Amir Khusro while describing natural beauty of J&K had said -If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this.

“It is not surprising that in the modern days, one of the oldest travel guide book publisher ‘Lonely Planet’ chose to call Jammu Kashmir as Switzerland of India,” he said.

The Lt Governor further according to Srinagar based news agency Kashmir Dot Com said for almost 30 years, this land of peaceful co-existence of almost all religious sects had to suffer state sponsored terrorism by our neighbouring country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji through development schemes that empowers masses and Union Territory’s effective administration, isolated the terror eco-system which thrived with the support from across the border, he added.

“Jammu Kashmir is witnessing a new era that has opened limitless possibilities of growth and peace. Now even foreign investments are also coming into Jammu and Kashmir, green shoots of better times people are anxiously looking up to,” Manoj Sinha said, adding that, deep dive initiatives demonstrate India’s resolve that Jammu Kashmir should also benefit from the virtues of democracy like the rest of the states and Union Territories.

Sinha said, equally pertinent is that tourism cannot grow in isolation. The economics of it is fine, that tourism needs good infrastructure, sound policies and effective and responsive administration, No less fundamental to me is the fact that only peace and happiness of people can bring warmth in the hospitality, we Indians eternally enjoy. I would like to mention here that tourism in Jammu Kashmir is also a reflection of multi-religious and multi-cultural ethos of India.

“Jammu Kashmir stands among the developed regions of India on some measurable milestones, and we are committed for people’s prosperity both economically and socially.”

Grassroots democracy has been strengthened; new industries are coming up, rapid agricultural growth is making our villages prosperous, infrastructure development is progressing rapidly and our emphasis on technology is transforming Jammu Kashmir into a digital society, Sinha said, adding that “the world can see that entire society, especially, the young generation is scripting a bright future for themselves and the nation. The speed and scale of rapid development in Jammu Kashmir are awe-inspiring, Our speed to execute infrastructure projects has gone up almost 10 times. In the last financial year, we have completed 92,560 projects. This achievement is a testimony to our resolve of peace and prosperity and making all our citizens equal partners in this journey of growth.”

I am truly delighted that 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, Sinha said.

He said “It’s encouraging for us to share that Jammu and Kashmir is already working on a few of the priority areas identified by the G20 Tourism Working Group like on Green Tourism, Skills, Tourism MSMEs and Digitalization.”

The majestic peaks, crystal-clear lakes and serene green landscape of Jammu Kashmir is more than a tourism destination. It is a poetry. It’s a land of realisation. It is an energy field vibrating with the ageless Indian cultural values, he said. “Under the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister 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.”

The Lt Governor in his speech further claimed that numbers are adding to the narrative. Last year, a record number of 18 million tourists visited Jammu Kashmir and, in the last year tourism sector made 7% contribution to Jammu Kashmir GDP. “We have identified 300 new destinations to promote green tourism, small & medium enterprises, youth and women entrepreneurs and involve local communities to support the sustainable tourism,” he claimed.

Several destinations in Jammu Kashmir are living examples of connect between the ancient and the modern, inclusive culture, history, music and traditional cuisine that can truly provide elevated travel experiences to the people, he said, adding that, under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister, 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. — (KDC)