Ganderbal, Sept 27: Department of Tourism Studies, Central University of Kashmir, (CUK) celebrated the World Tourism Day (WTD) under the theme “Rethinking Tourism,” at varsity’s Green Campus here on Tuesday.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Shah, Dean School of Business Studies, Prof. Fayaz Ahmad Nikka, Head Deptt of Tourism Studies, Puducherry University, Prof. Sampad Kumar Swain (Online), Secretary General, Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), Mr. Sajjad Ahmad Kralyari, DTS Coordinator, Dr. Faizan Ashraf Mir, Asst Prof. Dr Ashaq Hussain Najar, faculty members, students, senior functionaries of the university and other staff members were also present.
Addressing the participants, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Shah, said, the tourism industry is contributing immensely towards the socio-economic development of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. “This year, more than 17 lakh tourists visited the Kashmir valley and the need of the hour is to further consolidate, strengthen and improve the infrastructure across the tourist destinations, in order to cope with the ever-growing tourist rush and to provide better amenities to the visitors,” Prof. Farooq Ahmad Shah said. CUK Vice Chancellor, however, underscored the need of preserving the fragile ecology and environment while taking up works at the respective tourist destinations. “The focus should be on sustainable development of tourism but not at the expense of future generations,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Dean School of Business Studies, Prof. Fayaz Ahmad Nikka, described the WTD theme as a significant one and said, “the tourism not only provides sustenance to lakhs of people, but also facilitates the travel of individuals, aspiring to explore the world and unravel the hidden treasures of nature.” He said the authorities should also promote other forms of tourism including pilgrim, heritage, art and craft and medical tourism to further boost the industry in the Valley. “The people of Kashmir are facing stiff competition in agriculture, horticulture and arts work, from other states. The need of the hour is to address the tourism related issues so that Kashmir would once again emerge as the favorite tourist destination, not only for the countrymen, but across the world,” he added.
In his online lecture, Prof. Sampad Kumar Swain, said, the main objective of celebrating the day is to sensitize and aware the people, especially the students, about the significance of the tourism sector in the overall socio-economic and cultural development of the country. “The tourism has a high potential to contribute towards the overall GDP of the country,” he said. He said tourism crosses all the man-made boundaries and allows the people to witness and feel the culture, cuisine, and beauty of other countries.
Addressing the participants, Mr. Sajjad Ahmad Kralyari, said, the tourism sector in Kashmir is facing acute shortage of professionals and desperately needs them in order to provide quality service to the visitors. “The academicians have to play a key role in grooming the professionals,” he said, adding that with the tourism industry growing exponentially in Kashmir, the sector can provide employment to thousands of specialized youths.
Welcoming the guests, Department Coordinator, Dr. Faizan Ashraf Mir, said, the department continuously celebrates the day in order to educate the students about the importance of the tourism sector in the overall development of the country. He said Kashmir has been bestowed with countless bounties and asked the students to explore them and bring them on the tourism map.
Later on, the departments also organized, skit, Laddishah, cultural songs and memes to celebrate the day.
Asst Prof. Ms Shahnaz Akhtar conducted the programme proceedings while Asst Prof. Dr Adil Nazki proposed the vote of thanks.