The smiles are back as the hotel industry here is finally seeing tourists return after a long wait and suffering huge losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The hoteliers welcomed the Iconic Week Festival-like gala events that have been initiated by the Jammu and Kashmir administration across the Union Territory.
Hoteliers at Patnitop are in an upbeat mood with the ongoing festival that has attracted not only the local visitors but also the tourists to the picturesque destination located along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in the Udhampur district.
District Udhampur Administration in collaboration with the Directorate of Tourism, Jammu has made adequate arrangements to make the mega event of October 28 a success as footfall of tourists is expected to witness a surge.
Speaking to UNI, District Development Commissioner, Udhamp
ur, Indu Kanwal Chib said, “We have been preparing for the events scheduled for Thursday for the last two weeks and everything is in place.”
“Various events are going to be organised in the meadows of Patnitop Hills and we are also expecting a rise in the tourist influx,” she said adding that enthusiastic youngsters have desired voluntary participation to make the festival a grand success.
Chib said that facilities like parking, ferry service, Covid and First aid centres have also been put in place to avoid any inconvenience to the visitors.
“Covid appropriate behaviour will also be taken care of during the celebrations,” said the Deputy Commissioner.
“We are ready to host the events with all arrangements and facilities well in place,” Sher Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Patnitop Development Authority (PDA) told
The celebrations will begin with yoga, meditation session, spiritual, wellness discourses at main meadow at 7.30 am followed by Regional Literary Festival at main meadow at 10 am.
The CEO said that art and craft and cultural programmes will also be organised at Padora meadow, adding, “Singer Mika Singh will be the star performer in the Bollywood Night at Padora Meadow in the evening and we are expecting a huge crowd.”
He said that with a motive ‘Clean Patnitop Green Patnitop’, visitors have been appealed to follow the Covid guidelines, do not spread litter and carry the trash back.
President Patnitop Hotels and Lodges Association, Kushal Sharma told , “Hotel industry has now started reviving and we express gratitude to the Jammu and Kashmir government for initiating the Iconic Week Festival, which has boosted the tourism and hospitality sectors.”
“The District Administration and the Patnitop Development Authority (PDA) have been jointly taking pain in promoting the tourist destinations in the district with wider publicity vis-a-vis the Directorate of Tourism is playing a key role to enhance the tourist footfall in the region.”
“Road connectivity to every resort, hotel and other basic facilities are well taken care of by the District Administration with an aim to bring the tourism sector back on track that has suffered losses due to the Covid pandemic,” said Sharma.
He, however, expressed happiness over revival of the hotel industry and tourism with Iconic Week Festival-like initiatives of the government hoping for unprecedented rush of tourists with the onset of winter season.