They call it Paradise, I call it Home ©

May 2004

In Development, Kashmir, Tourism on 19 February, 2006 at 2:56 pm

The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department maintains a website at www.jktourism.org. It will be of no use to click this link because the website has not been updated since May 2004 (screen shot I), probably since it was launched.

JK Tourism
screen shot I

The Babus (officers) of the department are, surely, drawing tens of thousands of rupees each year for the maintenance and updating of the website (20 Million Rupess is the annual budget for promotion and marketing through electronic and print media – see screen shot II), but as we see that's not happening. So, where is the money going? The pockets of the Babus is my guess. What's your guess?

Our government is doing all it can to woo foreign tourists.

From food festivals to foreign trips by officials, all efforts are being made to 'sell Kashmir as a tourist destination,' but they can't maintain a website! Strange are the ways of our government!

Almost every domain name consisting of the words Kashmir and tourism has been registered. All sorts of people are running tourist portals for Kashmir but none can be trusted. Not a single portal that provides real time information about Kashmir exists.

The government could do well by considering updating the website once a year or so and if they have more sense they could build a proper website giving real time updates about travel destinations, flights available, weather, road conditions, room availability, tourist services, trusted travel agencies and such services as are required/demanded by tourists.

The JK Tourism website says that "the commercial activities in the tourism sector from the Government side are looked after by a public sector corporation know as the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation."

And gives us a link for JKTDC (screen shot II)

screen shot II
screen shot II

JKTDC Homepage!
screen shot III

The corporation does exist, I have confirmed, it's only the website (screen shot III) that doesn't exist.

20 Million rupees was the promotional budget for 2004, it must have been doubled or even tripled by now, given the fake sense of normalcy that is returning, and the government's claims of giving tourism 'the priority.' So far I have not seen a single audio-visual or print media campaign by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department. Some states of India are far ahead than the paradise of Kashmir. Kerela's 'God's own country' is a well recognised USP, Kashmir's 'Paradise on earth' or J&K Tourism's 'You can't have enough of it' are over-rated and hollow USPs.

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