Department of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir

Draft Tourism Policy

Draft Tourism Policy

Vision
“To make Tourism one of the principle engine of Economic development in the State by positioning it as a leading global destination by the year 2025, contribute to economic and social well-being of the people of Jammu & Kashmir by providing employment opportunities, inclusive development and promotional policies with an aim to achieve internationally competitive tourism sector focused on sustainable growth”
Mission
“To develop Jammu & Kashmir as a dynamic, sustainable and most-favoured tourist destination - offering high quality experience to Tourists by providing congenial development framework for facilitating and accelerating investments and improving livelihood opportunities at the local level and To devise strategies for increasing arrival of domestic and international tourists
Objectives
• To develop potential new and emerging markets through targeted marketing strategies based on tourist profile.
• To harness the opportunities available in the sectors like Adventure, Caravan Tourism, Heliport Tourism, Handicrafts, Pilgrimage, MICE, Heritage, Eco-Tourism and Golf etc.
• Development of human resources for tourism sector and capacity building of the tourism stakeholders.
• Diversification of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism products.
• Showcasing Brand Jammu and Kashmir.
• To standardize the establishment of tourism products and services by eco-friendly infrastructure.
• To promote sustainable tourism and encourage the conservation and preservation of unique natural and cultural heritage of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
• To ensure ‘total quality’ services to tourists by introduction of modern technologies and information dissemination for tourist products and services.
• To enhance the economic prosperity of the State. • To encourage a strong and sustainable participation by private Sector in creation of tourism infrastructure especially through public private partnership (PPP).
• Reinforcing and promoting Jammu and Kashmir as a safe and friendly destination.
• Promote effective inter-departmental coordination to streamline processes and increase sector performance in areas like Horticulture, Agriculture and Sericulture.
• To encourage Tourism Research and development in regional universities of the state.
Methodology
• Circuit tourism
• Season based tourism
• Development of Tourism infrastructure
• Development/promotion of off-beat destinations
• Improved accessibility to the tourist destinations
• Diversification/ Innovation in Tourism products
• Marketing and promotional tools
• Human Resources Development & Capacity Enhancement
• Inter- linkage among various departments
• Sustainable tourism and carrying capacity
• Public private partnership
• Research and survey wing
• Incentives and taxes
• Safety/security and disaster/ crisis management
• Targets and timelines
Methodology details:-
Circuit Tourism Circuits covering themes like Religious, Heritage etc would be identified so that the tourist gets a wholesome exposure to the theme. The concept of development of circuits will help in the promotion of pilgrimage tourism in the state. Based on the religious diversity of the state the circuit would be;
• Sufi circuit.
• Buddhist Circuit.
• Shiva circuit.
Infrastructure would include site development, internal roads, water supply, sewerage, drainage, street lighting, landscaping, power distribution, sewerage treatment plant, solid waste management facility, etc.
Season based tourism
The Department of Tourism will contemplate to harness the distinct seasons; summer, autumn, winter, spring. The activities and priorities will be oriented in a way to create distinct attractions for four distinct seasons. The flowering in spring, pleasant weather & greenery of summer, leaf fall of autumn and snow cover in winter will be promoted, keeping in view the activities peculiar to the respective seasons.
Development of Tourism infrastructure
The ultimate success of Tourism Policy of Jammu and Kashmir rests on creation of adequate and suitable infrastructure like accommodation, transport, communication links and other essential amenities. It is therefore necessary to critically analyze facilities like roads/rail network, airports and information corridors vis-à-vis their linkage with tourist destinations. The rapid increase in tourist inflow in the State has thrown up the challenge of an immediate requirement for standard and competitive accommodation facilities. The hotel accommodation in J&K is inadequate and there is need to 4 increase the number of average beds per thousand by building budget hotels at new tourist destinations and tourist circuits at places other than Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Patnitop, Pahalgam and the cities of Srinagar/ Jammu so as to shift the pressure of tourists to other destinations and to build ‘star category’ hotels at all the important tourist destinations in order to provide quality services to the international and national tourists.
-> Land Banks will be developed to offer land identified for construction of star hotels to private sector at market price/lease/joint venture within the identified circuits. All Nazool Land under unauthorized occupation in Srinagar/ Jammu Municipal Corporations and vacant State lands at other tourist destinations be considered for transferring to Tourism Department or to entrepreneurs in hospitality business for such infrastructure creation on the terms and conditions devised by the Revenue Department and Housing and urban development Department.
-> The Department will focus on development of rural tourist villages. Rural Tourism has been advocated to showcase the rural life, art, culture and heritage at rural locations, to benefit the local community, economically and socially. Though 50 rural tourism projects in Jammu and Kashmir have been implemented but more villages need to be covered. Already identified and developed villages need to be developed further. Villages having unique craft and art will be promoted as rural tourist villages. Focus will be on home stay facilities for tourists.
-> Up gradation of services through renovation and restoration of hotels to enable them to match the international standards in the hospitality sector. Guidelines laid down by MOT, Government of India for hospitality to be followed for the construction of Tourist units.
-> Promote total quality service including site development, internal roads, internet facilities, water supply, road-side public conveniences, sewerage, drainage, street lighting, landscaping, electricity, sewerage treatment plant by reengineering of the existing units.
-> Encourage heritage buildings to be converted into heritage hotels.
-> The State Government will make special efforts to attract famous lakes of the state as important tourist destinations as a part of Eco-tourism. Steps will be taken to maintain and enhance their beauty by undertaking development in an integrated manner. Focus would be mainly on Dal lake, wulur lake, Anchar Lake, Mansar/ Surinsar, Sanasar and Manasbal lake in close collaboration and consultation with Forest and Environment Department.
-> The department needs to regulate houseboat operations in Dal as per its carrying capacity and disperse it to Wular and Anchar. The department would introduce special incentives for starting houseboat operations in areas other than Dal lake and Nigeen lake.
-> Department, in association with Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) will take stringent measures to see that all the houseboats will have scientific solid and liquid waste management system and use only iron made hull which will also help in the conservation of forest.
-> Plastic waste continues to be a major concern for the local population and the visitors. Department will enforce ban in close coordination with sister agencies on the use of disposable plastics at major destinations such as Dal Lake, wular lake, Anchar lake, Nigeen lake, all Mughal gardens, Gulmarg. Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Jammu city, and Leh in the first phase in association with stakeholders in the tourism.
-> Department will support environment friendly initiatives such as production of paper bags and converting plastic and other wastes into resources, through various means of private financing. -> Facilitate development of accommodation for all customer segments through cottages, camping sites, dormitories, youth hostels & Yatrinivas on use and pay mechanism at tourist destinations with proper solid waste management.
-> The tourism industry that qualifies for availing incentives will be identified and broadly classified under the following categories:
(a) Tourism Infrastructure and Products
(b) Tourism Equipment,
(c) Other tourism infrastructure (signage, PC’s, etc),
(d) Training & Human Resources Development.
(e) Media and Publicity
Development/promotion of off-beat destinations
The off-beat destinations in state like Gurez, BaniBasohli, Lolab-Bungus, Kokernag-Sinthan top, VerinagDoda, Bhadewah, Aharbal, Poonch-Rajouri, Margan hills in Kishtwar, Zanskar etc which are being developed through area specific Tourism Development Authorities will be further developed and promoted so that the tourist footfall is equitably distributed. An incentive scheme would be formulated in collaboration with hoteliers and transporters so that visiting tourists are encouraged to prolong their stay in J&K and visit off-beat destinations.
Improved accessibility to the prominent destinations
Improved road connectivity to tourist destinations will be the priority by roping in concerned Government agencies/ departments in facilitating these development related activities.
-> Roads &Buildings Department will be requested to specify a particular sum of annual Plan for Tourism sector every year and seek concurrence of Tourism department to spend it on the road projects identified and prioritized by the Tourism department.
-> Road signage generally does not exist at most of the places. This issue will be taken up on priority by all concerned because self-driven vehicles will become popular in the coming years. National standards to be followed in the preparation of the road signages.
-> Vehicle standards will be clearly defined and administrated under the tourism Act in consultation with Transport Department.
Diversification/ Innovation in Tourism products
For the diversification of tourism products, development of various niche tourism products have to be followed more strongly by identifying niche products in which Jammu and Kashmir state has enormous potential and distinction. -> Emphasis will be on the products like; Adventure, Wellness, Golf , Polo, Meetings Incentives Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) , Trekking, Pilgrimage, Film Tourism, Ecotourism, Wild life tourism, Caravan Tourism, Heliport tourism, Rural tourism, Culture/ heritage tourism, Herbal Tourism etc.
-> World-class exhibition and convention complexes through appropriate PPP framework will be promoted in major cities and tourist destinations in the state.
-> Theme and Entertainment parks will be promoted at major tourist destinations.
-> Efforts will be made to rope in State Archives department and Cultural academy to have Cultural Depiction Centers at Jammu/Srinagar/Leh where artifacts, manuscripts etc can be displayed.
-> To increase length of stay of visitors, development of tourist villages near existing attractions will be encouraged.
-> Eco Tourism will be promoted as a core tourism activity in close collaboration with the Forest Department. The ecotourism zones will be identified and a chain of nature camps will be encouraged and promoted as Jungle Trails in the zone.
-> Thrust would be on promotion of State’s own traditional systems of medicine and wellness like Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani, etc. and efforts would be made to position the state as a health destination for wellness tourism.
-> The Government will promote adventure tourism activities in Jammu and Kashmir, under three heads - Aero Adventure, Aqua Adventure and Land Adventure by collaborating with national and international adventure tourism activity operators.
-> The Government will actively promote destinations as Caravan Tourism. Tourist destinations in close proximity to major heritage centers in the state will be identified and 8 promoted as clusters, where visitors can reach in shorter travel time and enjoy a 3-4 day stay with engaging activities.
-> The State Government will make special efforts to make lakes as important tourist destinations. Steps will be taken to maintain and enhance their beauty by undertaking development in an integrated manner.
-> Facilities for water sports will be developed to international standards and events involving national and international participation will also be organized to popularize these destinations.
-> Bird watching and angling competition will be organized for promotion of the wetlands of the state.
-> The Government will encourage tourism activities along the border areas of the state. Access infrastructure to these destinations shall be developed by collaborating with other state agencies/ departments, to enable a smooth and comfortable commute.
-> The abundant water resources and unique waterways of the state will be harnessed to provide a unique experience of adventure and leisure tourism.
-> The Department of Tourism shall announce annual awards under various categories. The providers of quality service to the tourists and maintainers of sustainability of the environment will be considered for awards.
-> Efforts will be made to include more heritage sites into UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list for bringing in significant international recognition and tourist traffic through preparation of integrated Site Management Plans, proposals to Government of India etc.
-> To improve the maintenance of existing tourist destinations, adoption/ management/ sponsorship programs will be promoted to create ownership between locals and corporate for monuments, religious sites/destinations
Marketing/promotional tools
-> Focus would be on developing new markets like Middle East, Europe and central Asia on the basis of proper market research.
-> Participation and organizing road shows in major source markets as well as in some of the upcoming markets.
-> Promotional campaign will be launched in the key markets under the theme “Explore Paradise”. -> With a view to taking the “Explore Paradise” Campaigns forward, different Brainstorming sessions and meetings with media, creative agencies, media representatives and stakeholders in the tourism industry would be involved to get their inputs and suggestions on making the “Explore Paradise” campaigns more impactful and effective.
-> Certain important fairs and festivals under the name ‘Festivals in heaven’ will be organized aiming at a high footfall of international and domestic tourists. This would help enhancing the tourist visits to the State.
-> The local universities will be approached for promotion through interaction of their students with the students of other national/international institutions.
-> Publicity will be carried out by way of ‘FAM (familiarization)’ trips of media persons, TV teams, film makers, trade representatives, provide brochures/media support, distribution of literature, posters, calendars, newsletter, electronic, print and digital.
-> Campaigns and publicity in malls, airports, and other strategic places.
-> National & international travel associations will be encouraged to have trips to Kashmir.
-> Improved Budgetary support would be ensured in the State budget of the Tourism Department for marketing and promotion with a 10% increase in the budget allocation every year during the span of this policy.
-> Information Technology will be used for the purpose of tourism promotion. The websites of Tourism Department and its various arms will be made interactive and user friendly.
-> Mobile applications and social networking site like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. shall be used for quick and cost effective tourism marketing.
Human Resources Development & Capacity Enhancement

-> Candidates with tourism related degrees like Masters in tourism administration/management, masters in hospitality, masters in Hotel management, masters in tour and travel will be preferably considered for direct recruitment in the departmental services.
-> Existing staff of Tourism department will be trained for specified jobs in the Department through FCI/IHMs.
-> Education and enhancement of competencies for local communities living in the surroundings of a tourism cluster will be encouraged, as a tool to catalyze economic opportunities from tourism activities.
-> Local universities and professional colleges will be encouraged to have courses on tourism studies and language courses in collaboration with national and international institutes of Tourism studies. -> One Government aided and sponsored vocational training centre on the pattern of FCI/IHM in each major city in J&K with special emphasis on training for Tourist Guides and support staff in housekeeping, front office, reception, etc. across all tourist destinations will be introduced.
Inter- linkage among various Departments and other institutional framework
The Department of Tourism has overall responsibility of promoting and exploring all the available resources of the state for attracting and retaining the tourists. Besides, the safety and security of the tourists visiting the state is the top priority of the department. Therefore the active functional links with other departments are essential to achieve the set goals and objectives of the organization.
-> Interactions and Convergence among various departments (R&B, Local bodies, Industries, Rural Development, Police, Health, LAWDA, Transport, Forests, Agriculture and Wildlife etc) needs to be streamlined to synergize their programs so that the impact of investment on tourist destinations is maximized.
-> A Tourism Coordination Committee will be set up under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary of the state comprising Administrative Secretaries of relevant departments to resolve such matters that may require interdepartmental coordination
-> The committee will also advise on general policies and planning of tourism-related matters including infrastructure development, promotion, monitoring, maintenance and growth of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry in J&K.
-> The Tourism Coordination Committee shall consist of the following members:-
1. Chief Secretary - Chairman.
2. Administrative Secretary (Finance) – Member.
3. Administrative Secretary (P&DD) – Member.
4. Administrative Secretary (Home) – Member.
5. Administrative Secretary (R&B) – Member.
6. Administrative Secretary (Revenue) – Member.
7. Administrative Secretary (Health) – Member.
8. Administrative Secretary (Industries & Commerce) – Member.
9. Administrative Secretary (Agriculture) – Member.
10.Administrative Secretary (Power) – Member.
11.Administrative Secretary (PHE) – Member.
12.Administrative Secretary (Tourism) – Member Secretary.
13.Principal Chief Forest Conservator – Member.
14.Director General Police - Member
15.Director Tourism, Kashmir – Member.
16.Director Tourism, Jammu - Member
17.Representative of Hospitality Sector – Member.
18.Representative of Tours & Travels – Member.
19.Any other member (s) with the permission of Chairman.
-> A tourist office in each district of the State will be set up where all necessary tourist information of the concerned District can be displayed and made available.
Sustainable Tourism and Carrying Capacity
Adoption of solid waste management, hygiene and sanitation standards needs to be introduced at all the destination to cater the increasing pressure of tourists.
-> Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective measures whenever necessary.
-> To involve schools, NGOs, industry associations, etc. in carrying out major cleanliness drives at important tourist destinations, department of tourism should provide suitable incentives as well as rewards for all the organizations and individuals involved in this important initiative.
-> The annual number of tourists needs to be regulated according to the carrying capacity of tourist destinations and other eco-sensitive zones after proper assessment of the carrying capacity of each region.
-> Most of the pilgrim sites are located in sensitive eco-zones. Building and expansion activities in these should be controlled under the relevant acts, like the Forest Conservation Act and the Environment Protection Act
Public- Private Partnership for development of Tourism infrastructure
-> PPP mode will be prioritized to attract investment in the tourism sector in order to upgrade infrastructure facilities and developing new destinations like Tosa-maidan, Yusmarg, Lolab-Bungus and many more which will create employment opportunities.
-> The Department would also take steps for privatization of the existing assets of Tourism department in a time-bound manner.
-> The PPP mode will include pilot projects like Events Sponsorship, Development of Hotels, Resorts and Theme Parks, Leasing-out of Existing tourism facilities, cable car, solid waste management etc.13 -> Emphasis would be on large revenue generating projects to attract private investors.
Research and Survey wing
-> To create proper awareness about the importance of tourism sector in the economic development of the State, job creation, foreign exchange earnings, benefits to different segments of the society, poverty alleviation etc., an accurate and timely release of tourism statistics is necessary. Though tourism contributes significantly in the GDP of the state as well as job creation, data base on different sectors of tourism needs improvement.
-> Separate wing under the name, Research and Survey wing, would be created at the level of Administrative Department to look after the records and research work of the Department. -> The wing will be headed by Research Officer, not below the rank of Deputy Secretary, supported by team of tourism professional employees.
-> Surveys will be conducted in important source markets of foreign tourists visiting the State to know their preference about the tourism products and destinations.
-> The wing will prepare and issue yearly statistics of tourist inflow, expenditure incurred and earnings realized.
Incentives and Taxes
All the destinations would be classified into three categories based on the development of the destination. “A” - (developed), “B” - ( developing) and “C” - (underdeveloped).
-> Projects / activities/ units classified as Category C (most backward) will be given priority in incentives.
-> New tourism units would be eligible for incentive schemes.
-> The unit availing of the incentives under the scheme shall install, effectively operate and maintain pollution control measures as per the standards prescribed by the competent authority in this regard. The unit will remain in commercial operation continuously for at least five years after it has been commissioned. However, in cases the operation is discontinued due to reasons beyond the control of the unit, the Tourism department may examine individual cases and condone the period of discontinuation based on the guidelines to be issued by the Government.
-> In order to provide impetus to locations where tourist footfalls are low, all destinations have been grouped into three groups- "Low " ,"Medium " and "High" based on annual tourist inflow for the year 2012-2014. Destinations which are under developed but falling under the "high" group with high annual tourist inflow will be given the highest incentives.
-> The recognized Tourist Transport Operators would be considered for exemption from Excise Duty and VAT on the purchase of new tourist vehicles.
-> For modernizing existing tourism/hospitality infrastructure entry tax exemption would be desirable.
-> For popularizing off-beat destinations, collaborative incentive schemes would be launched by the Tourism Department.
-> Any increase in tax rates should be made applicable after a reasonable time- frame so that the bookings already made are not affected.
-> Tourism sector has been given status of Industry but few the benefits available to industry has been extended to this sector. Department would take concrete steps for ensuring same incentives to be made available to the tourism sector as that of the industry sector.
Safety/ Security and Disaster/ Crisis management
Department of Tourism (DoT) envisages ensuring safe tourism through provision of dedicated police personnel at major tourist destinations, life-guards at lakes in coordination with local people and NGOs.
-> Code of Conduct for safely & security of the tourists needs to be adopted by tourism Department and tourism stakeholders.
-> Disaster management is an import ant a spe ct for an y tourism destination (especially in the face of a crisis). The specific contingencies such as epidemic and15 natural disasters have devastating impacts on any community, region, state or nation.
-> DoT shall organize training and sensitization programs for policemen posted at key tourism destinations in association with the Department of Home for ensuring that policemen empathize with genuine complaints and grievances of tourists.
-> In order to ensure safety of women, minors, elderly and specially abled in any form, DoT, in conjunction with the local police and district administration, shall take proactive steps to prevent such abuses.
-> DoT shall also provide the selected personnel appropriate training required for providing services to tourists.
-> The local residents along with the state officials need to be sensitized regarding the measures to be taken when faced by a crisis, such as landslides, floods, earthquakes etc, so in case of such emergencies they can take necessary action.
-> State of Jammu and Kashmir falls in the Seismic zone-5. Therefore the Infrastructure made needs to be resistant. The Engineering wing of the Department will be directed to take all necessary measures accordingly.
Targets & Timelines Short Term (1-3 Years)
-> Jammu and Kashmir is a preferred tourism destination at national and international levels. Extensive marketing of tourism products through web, road shows, electronic and print media will be undertaken.
-> Three year Event Calendar will be developed which would be synchronized with other themes and Business Events to attract tourists and extend duration of stay of visitors.
-> Feasibility studies for establishing demand for various tourism facilities, such as rural tourism, MICE Tourism, Adventure tourism etc will be undertaken.
-> Tie-ups with training institutes and capacity building programs for creating skilled human resource for the sector will be undertaken.
-> Develop weekend tourism products across the state and tourism activities in and around Kashmir valley.
-> Identify culture and heritage assets and prepare a plan for protection and management of the same.
-> Suitable modification of BOCA rules of J&K Development Act as the tourism destinations building permissions needs to clear architectural plan as well as building facad plan so that buildings at these destinations follow a particular pattern and look.
-> Positioning two ‘Tourism Town planners’ one at Srinagar and other at Jammu for preparation and development of Master Plans of all tourist destinations especially headquarters of Tourism Development Authorities in a faster and time bound manner.
-> Develop interpretation materials for promotion of tourism in both digital and print medium. -> Tourism research and Survey wing to be created.
Medium Term (3-5 Years)
-> Designing of tour packages based on specific themes, preferably those that involve the geographical boundary and heritage of more than one State, will be undertake.
-> Development of new destinations on wellness, tribal tourism, theme park tourism, Golf tourism unexplored areas, sports etc. will be undertaken.
-> New concepts for heliport tourism and caravan tourism will be promoted.
-> Incentives and technical assistance will be provided to SMEs in the tourism sector, notably unemployed Professional youths and local artisans producing high quality local handicrafts.
Long Term (5 - 10 Years)
-> Assess brand value by focusing on research and surveys.
-> Initiate and development of large revenue generating projects and pilot projects like caravan tourism, cable car projects, ropeways, sericulture, apiculture etc.
-> Efforts will be made to prepare Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) as envisaged by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

About Jammu & Kashmir Tourism

The Department of Tourism, J&K is the main developmental, promotional and regulatory arm of the J&K Government. Its main role comprises of overall planning and execution of schemes for the development, up-gradation and improvement of the tourism infrastructure in different parts of the State.
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