Roadmap to promote tourism in J&K, Ladakh soon

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New Delhi (IANS) With an eye on developing manpower and promote exchanges between the tourist and the locals in the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, a special roadmap had been prepared, Union minister of Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel told IANS in an interview on Wednesday.

According to Patel, the government plans to rope in locals to promote tourism in the Valley. Under the 'Bed & Breakfast' scheme, the government will pay the locals who will offer food and shelter to tourists. "We will encourage locals to offer lodging facilities at their residences to tourists," Patel said.

Patel said up-gradation of manpower, which would include training guides, asking people to host tourists at their homes in areas where there was a shortage of hotels and give them basic training was required to boost tourism in the two new UTs -- J&K and Ladakh. 

The ministry also plans to motivate Kashmiri youth to go for online training schemes, which could help them become tourist guides and provide a source of income. "We will primarily focus on upgrading manpower and offer them training facilities in Delhi and J&K as well as online," Patel said.

Patel said there was no major difference in the plans for Leh and Kashmir. 

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