J-K Minister gets peace award by tourism body in London

Ghulam AhmedJAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Minister Ghulam Ahmed Mir has been honored in London for promoting peace through tourism.

The award was given by World Travel Market Association (WTMA) to Mir for his appointment as peace ambassador of South Asia of International Institute of Peace through Tourism (IIPT) at a function in London yesterday, a statement said here.

The travel event was attended by Secretary General UNWTO Dr Taleb Rifai, Martin Craig, President of Pacific Asia Travel Association and other dignitaries.

The Tourism Minister was representing a delegation from the state in the 4-day travel event which saw the participation of 5,000 exhibitors from around the world.

Silk Road program

Speaking in London, Mir said, the Jammu & Kashmir government is keen to participate in UN’s Silk Road program and further the cause of tourism and sustainability in the region.

“We are quite keen to be a part of UNWTO’s Silk Road Program and are willing to collaborate with regional partners and further the cause of tourism and sustainability and the promotion of peace through tourism in the Great Silk Route,” Mir said.

“Let’s collaborate, share knowledge and best practices and work towards building bridges between cultures and nations in the region to make South Asia, India and Kashmir in particular a more vibrant and successful tourist destination in the world,” he said.

The minister is heading a delegation of the state and is accompanied by both the tourism Directors of Kashmir and Jammu at the four-day London Travel Mart Conference.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Silk Road Program aims to enhance sustainable tourism development along the historic Silk Road route.

Mir also appealed to the people of London to tour the state and experience its natural beauty and hospitality of its people.

“Peace is a pre-requisite for flourishing tourism and our state is as safe as other places in the world,” he said.

Conference in Kashmir

Meanwhile, the International Institute of Peace through Tourism (IIPT) has accepted Mir’s proposal to hold a conference on tourism in Kashmir Valley next year.

Louis D’Amore, President and Chairman of International Institute for Peace Through Promotion (IIPT) accepted the invitation and promised to hold the conference in the first half of next year, an official release of the ministry said.

“This initiative will bring international recognition and coverage on tourism and its positive impact on building bridges and its local impact on economy at large,” it said. -PTI

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