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Srinagar all set to host G20 Meet

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Srinagar: Srinagar is all set to host the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting beginning Monday and all preparation has been put in place for the first major international event after J&K’s special status was abrogated in 2019.

The three-day mega event is being held at the picturesque Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex (SKICC), on the banks of the Dal Lake, amid unprecedented security arrangements.

SKICC has been decked like a bride for the G20 delegates from May 22 to 24. All the preparations for the G20 meeting to be held in Kashmir valley have been completed, an official said and added the roads leading to the venue including shores, parks and buildings have been provided absorbing looks to welcome the delegates.

Three-tier security arrangements have been made in Srinagar city to thwart any militant plans to disrupt the meeting.

The venue has been sanitised for the event and elite forces have been keeping an eye on the situation. Security forces have been put on high alert. All roads right from the Srinagar International Airport to the SKICC where the function is being held were searched by metal detectors and sniffer dogs were also pressed into service to ensure no untoward incident happens during the event.

Officials say that the meeting will take the J and K’s tourism sector – especially the potential of the Kashmir Valley, where the event is being held – to the world.

The stretch from the Srinagar International Airport has been given a facelift to enhance the aesthetic value of the existing structure. Roads were macadamised and several projects completed under the Srinagar Smart City Project have been inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha recently.

Viewpoints, hoardings, signboards were put up and plantations have been done along the roads from Srinagar Airport to SKICC. There is hope among the people related to the tourism sector from the G20 meeting.

“The hospitality of Kashmiris is amazing and people are waiting to welcome the guests”, said a Houseboat owner. He said with this meeting not only tourism will be promoted at the international level but also the development of Jammu and Kashmir will come to the forefront.

Officials said that on May 22 and 23 “Film Tourism for Economic Growth and Cultural Preservation” will be organised focusing on strategies to promote film tourism.

The event will witness the participation of G20 member countries, invited countries, international organisations, and industry stakeholders.

A draft “National Strategy on Film Tourism” will be unveiled to provide a roadmap for harnessing the role of films in promoting tourist destinations.

A panel discussion featuring esteemed speakers from G20 Member countries, and Invited countries will shed light on country-specific enablers and challenges in promoting destinations through films.

A national-level side event will be organised along with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) which will focus on “Promoting Incredible India through Film Tourism,” offering states and union territories an opportunity to share their policies and best practices that have facilitated the development of film tourism. Industry stakeholders will also provide suggestions on encouraging filmmakers to shoot in various locations across the country.

The Ministry of Tourism has also planned a side event along with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on “Ecotourism as a Vehicle to Achieve Sustainable Development Goal” which will explore effective strategies, best practices, and synergy between the public and private sectors to accelerate efforts towards sustainable development goals.

Noteworthy presentations will be given by experts and representatives from wildlife organisations, and industry associations during the event. Delegates will also have the opportunity to experience the local attractions.

During the 3rd Tourism Working Group meeting, the delegates will also visit the Art and Craft Bazaar organized by the state government showcasing local handicrafts, the work of artisans, signifying the importance of community participation. The delegates will also have “hands-on” experience through DIY (Do It Yourself) Activities at the Craft Bazaar.

This G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar aims to strengthen economic growth, preserve cultural heritage, and promote sustainable development of the region

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has welcomed the participation of delegates from G20 member countries, invited countries, and international organizations to collectively work towards advancing the tourism sector and achieving the UN sustainable development goals 2030

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