Homestay initiative to cater to growing tourist footfall in

In order to cater growing footfall of tourists to Kashmir valley, the Administration is committed to make availability of 50,000 rooms for the increasing demand of accommodation through Home‐Stay initiative.
This was stated by Chief Secretary J&K, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta while inaugurating Home‐Stay Cluster at JharokhaBagh here.
Chairman District Development Council, Nuzhat Ishfaq; Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez; Managing Director J&K Tourism Development Corporation, Syed Fakhruddin Hamid; Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Shyambir; Director Tourism Kashmir, Dr GN Itoo, Chief Executive Officer Wullar‐Manasbal Development Authority and other concerned were also present on the occasion.
Maintaining that tourism has grown manifold in J&K this year as compared to last year, Dr Mehta said that the benefits of this bumper arrival of tourists to the Valley should trickle down to all, especially locals of various tourist destinations.
“In order to cater this growing footfall of tourists, the UT Administration is encouraging, guiding and handholding local population at various tourist destinations for home‐stay initiative,” Dr Mehta said while interacting with one of a proprietor of home stay cluster at JharokhaBagh village overseeing Manasbal Lake.
He hoped that around 50,000 rooms would be made available through home stay initiative across the various tourist destinations for which 75 locations have already been identified in other districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
“This is just a beginning,” he reaffirmed and added that a lot of people from outside of J&K are willing to visit J&K and the home stay initiative would give a positive message to them to visit this beautiful place.
Rail is coming and there is better road and air connectivity now for Kashmir, people will definitely throng Kashmir in huge numbers for its beauty, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez said that Manasbal would soon be the most sought after destination of J&K.
He said the home stay initiative would promote eco tourism as more people are coming forward to get registered under home stay initiative as the department has eased out the registration process for home stays.
Director Tourism Kashmir also spoke on the occasion and reiterated the Tourism Department’s support for locals through initiatives like home stay so that common people would also be an important cog in the tourism machine.
Later, the Chief Secretary declared open Manasbal Festival‐2022 while flagging off various water sports and other activities.
He flagged off water sports activities viz Water Skiing, Kayaking, Zorbing, Jet Skiing water and also inaugurated angling competition.
He also witnessed demonstration of water Zorbing, Banana boating, pedal boats, and other recreational activities. On the occasion, he also flagged off mountain cycling expedition.