SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir will soon roll out a new policy to attract filmmakers and bring back the lost golden era of filmmaking in the Union territory, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said here on Monday.
Addressing the two-day virtual conference on ‘Tapping the Tourism Potential of Kashmir — Another Day in Paradise’ at SKICC on the banks Dal Lake, Sinha said the J&K government has almost finalized the new film policy “which will be announced within 10 days from now”.
“The policy entails a road map on how we can bring back Kashmir’s golden era on the silver screen in the 70s and 80s. We have been reading and hearing that Kashmir used to be the favourite destination of Bollywood filmmakers. We as a team will work to bring back that lost era,” Sinha said.
He also said that there are many unexplored destinations in Jammu and Kashmir, but his administration is taking steps to bring them on the tourist map. “We are focusing on putting in place a better infrastructure at new spots so that tourists can enjoy them hassle free. For this, we have invited private players as well,” he said.
Sinha said despite Covid-19 pandemic, Kashmir witnessed the highest number of domestic tourist arrivals among all states since December 2020. “This of course helped to revive the tourism industry in Kashmir,” he said.
He said the number of arrivals has helped decreasing the unemployment rate in the UT. “Thousands of people associated with the industry have got employment opportunities. The unemployment rate in J&K in the month of September last year was 16.1%, but it has dropped to 9% as per the latest data in the month of March this year,” he said.
“The unemployment rate at many tourist destinations like Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Goa is much more than J&K. I believe that the tourism sector is the biggest contributor to this achievement,” he said.
The LG highlighted that several steps have been taken to ensure ease of travel for tourists. “There are night flights operating from Srinagar airport. There is a direct flight from Srinagar to Bengaluru now,” he said, adding tourists are coming to Kashmir not just to explore the places, but to connect with the people of the Valley as well.
The LG expressed hope that in coming days, tourist arrivals to the UT would increase further which would in turn generate more employment opportunities and help the economy to grow.
(With inputs from agencies)