To support tourism of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the apex body of the hotel industry in the country, Hotel Association of India (HAI) has chalked out suggestions of a long-term tourism development plan and incentives for the stakeholders.

Speaking at the recently concluded India Global Week, KB Kachru, vice president, Hotel Association of India called on investors to consider J&K for their new ventures. Quick developments and assuring good returns based on promising infrastructure and tools in the union territory need to be considered.

KB Kachru said, “Tourism is a real springboard for giving a major thrust to the overall economy particularly in J&K. There is a need to think of some quick wins for survival and revival.

“Hospitality is in Kashmiri blood; Kashmir has the capability of becoming a challenge to established world-known destinations.”

J&K is one of the few easily accessible destinations in the country with over one lakh families involved in travel and hospitality servicing the needs of the industry. India’s tourism accounts for over nine per cent of the 3-trillion economy, providing more than 100 million jobs.

HAI member hotels such as Radisson Group, Taj Hotels, ITC Hotels, The Lalit, Lemon Tree have already moved into the region.

International companies are also expected to enter J&K despite all the challenges.

Calling for support from the central and state government, Kachru said, “Given that, investment-friendly policies are being set, key players need to have a steady hand on the wheel. We need to identify new destinations and create easy accessibility.

“Moreover, the government needs to continue to listen and handhold stakeholders at this time of crisis starting with those operating businesses, hotels, houseboats, and transporters. The government must take care of the workforce. In the long run, policy reforms will be needed.”