SRINAGAR, JUNE 5 (KNS): Jammu and Kashmir offers an opportunity to appeal to both domestic and international travelers by hosting domestic and international sports tourism events like golf tournaments, rafting, skiing, rock climbing and motor racing.
Travelers combine their love of travel and sports by planning their vacations around popular sporting events, boosting sports tourism in UT.
In particular, J&K’s sports policy encourages the promotion of UT’s splendid natural resources such as lakes, rivers, springs, canals and mountains to boost sports tourism. The policy pays particular attention to golf, winter sports, adventure and water sports in addition to the creation of sports tourism clusters and centers which, in turn, would provide additional employment opportunities.
According to the policy document, the “public-private partnership” (PPP) as well as the support of foreign missions for knowledge and technology transfer will help take sports and adventure tourism to the next level. As a result, sport tourism and specialized training in snow adventure sports at the certificate/diploma level will become the new mode of self-sufficiency for these sport tourism models. The Youth Services and Sports department encourages the PPP mode to promote winter sports and adventure tourism.
The existing ski facilities for training as well as recreational games in Gulmarg are developed at par with international standards. Apart from this, special attention to the development of ski infrastructure is a push initiative in Pahalgam and Sonamarg, as these are also areas that receive heavy snowfall. Areas like Gurez and other small villages with several scenic spots can be developed as nature walks, trails, rock climbing with unique targeted sport activity. This will enable the creation of experience destinations and stimulate the economy while providing employment opportunities. In addition, upgrading of training facilities and mountaineering related course curricula is underway using improved techniques, infrastructure and methodology.
The JK Sports Council, in conjunction with the Department of Tourism, promotes international golf competitions to give golf tourism a boost. Other districts in UT are being considered to develop golf as a sport. YSS management, in conjunction with the Golf Development Authority and the Department of Tourism, strives to involve school children as well.
The objective of the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Policy 2022 is to “create a dynamic, inclusive, competitive and innovative environment that enables the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir to experience and benefit from a strong sports culture”. Furthermore, it will facilitate the creation of an empowered and participatory sport ecosystem that makes sport affordable, enjoyable and sustainable for all who wish to play and for those who wish to excel at a global level.
“Sports tourism has been found to be one of the fastest growing tourism sectors. More and more tourists are interested in sports activities on their trips, whether sports are the main purpose of the trip or not,” said a travel consultant.
Various reports suggest that Indians are now traveling more in and out of the country to attend their sporting event of choice, which has accelerated the sports tourism industry.
Many people use these trips as an excuse for longer vacations, combining their sporting passions with a general love for travel, a tourism department official said. “On the other hand, many players in the tourism industry have also begun to realize the value of wooing these tourists, many of them are in the high spending category, stay longer than other categories of tourists, are high caliber tourists, he added”
In a significant achievement, Jammu and Kashmir is soon to host international level sports championships in Srinagar and Jammu. It will be the first time that J&K will host two international sporting events including the Asian Junior Pencak Silat Championship to be held in Srinagar from September 1-4, 2022 and the International Chess Festival to be held in Jammu from August 20-28. Aug.(KNS)