Srinagar, Feb 16: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Sunday stressed the vast potential of the state for sports, adventure and pilgrim tourism, and said visitors in large numbers was the “highest dividend of peace”.
“The highest dividend of peace is the arrival of tourists in great numbers in the Valley,” the chief minister said inaugurating the national ski and snowboarding championship at the Gulmarg ski resort.
He said organising sports events, particularly winter games, gives considerable fillip to showcase the state as the ideal destination for various sports.
The enchanting natural resorts and wide-ranging fauna, flora and bio-diversity of the state also attracted tourists, Abdullah said.
He said winter sports should be boosted to provide opportunities to participants to nurture their talent and develop them as world class players.
The chief minister said there was a need to promote skiing in Gulmarg by upgrading slopes at Kongdoori and Mary Shoulder.
“This would help in holding national and international ski events, opening possibilities of making Gulmarg an international winter sports resort,” he said.
Abdullah said tourism had an important role in the state’s economy and in the generation of wide-ranging activities for people.
“Our efforts should be to develop and showcase the state as a round-the-year destination for tourists from all over the world,” he said.