Gurez valley and ski resort of Gulmarg of J&K were adjudged as best offbeat and adventure destinations respectively in India at a glittering award ceremony organised by “Outlook Traveler Magazine” at New Delhi Wednesday.
The Outlook Traveller Awards are the benchmark of quality in the travel and tourism industry and felicitate the best of the best each year. The awards take a 360 degree view of the tourism sector and the way it has been growing.
The award was presented by Union Minister for Tourism & Culture, G Kisan Reddy to Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez.
The award was given to the Tourism Department for promoting Gurez in the category of offbeat tourism destinations. J&K Tourism also bagged the award for adventure tourism at Gulmarg.
This would certainly encourage the best practices in the tourism sector.
An environment of tourist activities is prevailing in the country and the Union Government is taking steps to further strengthen the sector. Government is contemplating to bring National Tourism Policy in the next budget session.
Earlier, participating in various panel discussions, Sarmad Hafeez dwelt in detail about the measures taken by the J&K administration in broadening the canvas of tourist destinations and attractions across J&K. Due to the sustained and coordinated efforts of the Tourism Department and stakeholders this year J&K saw record tourist arrivals in many decades.
In the yearly Outlook Traveler awards 2022 for destinations under various categories across India, Jammu and Kashmir has received the two destination awards under two categories.
“As Jammu and Kashmir government had identified 75 offbeat destinations across UT and several programmes and events were held at these places to bring them on the tourism map and with the selection of Gurez as the best offbeat destination in India, the efforts have paid off,”.
Gurez is also scheduled to host a mega festival by the end of this month.
Credit of this award goes to hard working officials and especially to young volunteers and entrepreneurs who created such a tourist friendly environment within a short span of time.
Tourism along LoC in Gurez started gaining momentum last year when the two countries India and Pakistan agreed to adhere to a ceasefire agreement following which trekkers, tourists, and locals started flocking to areas close to the Line of Control.