More budget hotels to come up in pahalgam

More budget hotels to come up in Pahalgam

The Government of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) is very upbeat about the prospects of tourism and hospitality in Pahalgam. As Pahalgam is touted as the official base camp for pilgrims visiting the Amarnath temple, the government believes that there is a need to set up more hotels in the scenic town.

Currently, the J&K government is urging small and mid-sized hotel groups to set up their properties in Pahalgam to accommodate a large number of travellers who are either pilgrims of the Amarnath yatra or visit the town for other expeditions.

Hoteliers upbeat

The state government has recently unveiled an incentive package for hoteliers planning to set up hotels, resorts and guest houses in Pahalgam. Comfort Group, a New Delhi-based mid-sized hotelier, is already building a boutique resort in the town. “The resort will be equipped with facilities such as a health club, gymnasium, Jacuzzi and a 24-hour coffee shop.The hotel should be ready for occupancy by May 2010,” said Rajendra Singh, operations manager of Comfort Group.

Other mid-sized hotel groups such as Sarovar Hotels & Resorts and Clarks Group are also setting up hotels and resorts in Pahalgam. Most of these hoteliers are planning to hire local housekeeping attendants, chefs and supervisors and train them on specific skill-sets to serve the guests.

Mr Singh informed that the government has also made it mandatory for all hoteliers to adopt stringent security measures such as installing Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) at the reception and lounge as well as alarms in every room in order to ensure safety of the tourists.

Exploring possibilities

The state government has also announced that it is exploring the possibilities of sports and adventure tourism in the region. It plans to develop the town as an eco-tourism centre and is encouraging hoteliers to promote environment-friendly tours as a part of their value-added services.

“As part of the eco-tourism drive, we are arranging activities such as mountaineering, camping, trekking, rafting and fishing for our guests,” said Manpreet Aneja, manager of Peak and Pine Hotel, a mid-sized hotel in Pahalgam.

This year, the state government has allocated Rs 20 crore to upgrade the tourism infrastructure in the region. It is also drafting plans to build a wildlife sanctuary and a racecourse in Pahalgam in the next 6-8 months.

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