Religious Tourism – a major contributor in J&K’s economy: Priya Sethi

Former Minister Priya Sethi said that religious tourism had a great tourist potential in Jammu and Kashmir and was one of the major contributors to the Union Territory’s economy.

The former minister was speaking during the cleanliness drive held in connection with fortnight celebrations with regard to the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A from the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State.

The former minister said “Religious shrines constitute the rich wealth of our cultural heritage. Jammu is known as the City of Temples. Well-ornamented old temples can be seen in Jammu City. But surprisingly lack of proper maintenance and conservation of temples in the Jammu city has made these temples dilapidated. These jewels of our architectural heritage need proper repairing and maintenance we can also develop as religious tourism.”

“Jammu region has bountiful places of Gods and Deities confined to the hilly and mountainous region. Jammu region has a vast variety of tourist attraction to offer and holds the potential for developing various tourist spots and places for pilgrimage tourism offering substantial heritage, leisure and adventure tourism to tourists of wide-ranging interest,” she said.

Recommending expansion of facilities for pilgrims and promoting infrastructure projects to enhance connectivity within the different regions of J&K, the former minister said a focused strategy and initiatives were required to fully exploit the tourism potential in the Union Territory. She also appealed to the government to carry out restoration work on temples that are in bad shape and require upkeep. She further appealed to the authorities concerned to make a list of all the places that can be developed for the purpose of religious tourism.

The former minister asserted that the pilgrim tourism has great tourist potential in Jammu and Kashmir and is one of the major contributors to its economic growth both in terms of employment and other activities. She appealed to the government to make strenuous efforts to bring the Union Territory on international tourist pilgrimage map as the region is replete with the historical religious sites of immense importance.