Tour operators, Hoteliers criticise Tourism authorities for casual approach
STATE TIMES NEWS
Bhadarwah: After witnessing huge inflow of tourists during previous years, Bhadarwah remained out of focus on tourism map after abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, followed by long lockdown restrictions in view of outbreak of novel Corona Virus.It is notable to mention here that Bhadarwah is known for it’s mundane beauty and high altitude meadows. Bhadarwah also recieved best Tourist destination of Jammu Province award for 2017-18. In 2018, Bhadarwah recieved record number of tourists as the number of tourists touched to 5 lakhs. Now there is a good news that tourists are visiting Bhadarwah again.Those associated with tourism including Tour operators and Hoteliers were upbeat and eyeing on the winter season to bring in some good fortunes for tourism industry as famous high altitude tourist destinations of Bhadarwah including Padri, Guldanda, Khanni Top, Chattergalla, Seoj and Jai Ghati received good and timely snowfall this year.People, especially those associated with tourism are alleging step-motherly treatment to Bhadarwah by the government and concerned authorities, as authorities failed to clear or even initiate the restoration of the roads approaching to these tourist destinations, beside Bhadarwah Development Authority, who has been established to boost the tourism prospects of Bhadarwah, is also not taking any heed to organize some tourism activities to attract tourists.Heavy and timely Snowfall this year in Bhadarwah, including the tourist resort of Jai valley and especially Padri meadow located on interstate Bhadarwah-Chamba Road, has literally come as a boon from the heavens for winter sports and tourism-related activities in the Bhadarwah Valley but JK Tourism department had failed to revive the tourism related activities according to other destinations including Gulmarg, Pehalgam and Patnitop.Meanwhile Hoteliers, Guest house owners and tour operators are demanding that to attract tourists during winters, all roads should be opened immediately on the pattern of Gulmarg and Pehalgam.President Tourism Travel Trade Federation Bhadarwah, Tariq Choudhary said that we have ample scope for winter Tourism here, Jaie valley and Padri can be developed as a major destination for skiing, sledging and other sporting activities on snow, but unfortunately due to closed roads and callous attitude of Tourism Department and BDA, all our efforts to make Bhadarwah all weather tourism destination remained only a dream this year too.Tariq Choudhary said that JK Tourism Department and Bhadarwah Development Authority (BDA) should go an extra mile to attract the tourist and make maximum of the efforts this time.When contacted CEO BDA Rajinder Khajuria, said that due to COVID-19 and other circumstances, we faced lot of problems and bear losses as well. Bhadarwah have ample scope of winter tourism and to tap this, now we are planning to organise ‘Snow Carnival’ this year.“Within 3-4 days, we are going to hold a meeting with all stakeholders to review the possibilities of Snow Carnival this year,” CEO informed.Now, hope that Tourism Department and BDA will fulfill all their promises to make Bhadarwah an all weather tourist destination, for which it was established.Meanwhile people are demanding that to attract more tourists during winters, BDA and JK Tourism Department should encourage winter sports here in a big way.
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