As part of the border tourism initiative, authorities in Jammu on Sunday flagged off the first of its kind open-roof tourist luxury bus with the slogan ‘Chalo Suchetgarh Border’ here, an official spokesperson said.Also Read - World Tourism Day 2020: Celebrate Switzerland's 400 Years-Old Love Affair With Tourists
The launch of the ‘Garud Seva Open-Roof’ bus service marked the 41st World Tourism Day which was observed amid strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines at various tourist destinations across Jammu and Kashmir region, he said.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma and Director Tourism Jammu, Raj Kumar Katoch jointly flagged off the 27-seater bus from Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) to Suchtgarh along the International Border on the outskirts of Jammu, the spokesperson said.
The bus will run on a daily basis from Jammu at around 10.30 am towards Suchetgarh border for sightseeing. Other destinations covered en route are Gharana wetland where migratory birds from various parts of the world visit, the spokesperson said.
The Directorate of Tourism, Jammu celebrated the World Tourism Day across Jammu Division at destinations like Suchetgarh Border, Katra, Bhimgarh Fort, Reasi, Mansar, Patnitop, Kishtwar, Basholi, Kishtwar and Poonch with the active participation of the stakeholders like tour and travel organizations, hotel associations and taxi union.
The main function was organised at Suchetgarh border in collaboration with the senior officers of the 36 battalions of the BSF, the spokesperson said.
Katoch explained the importance of the tourism sector, its revival in view of the ongoing pandemic and the need to widen its horizon to the rural areas for focusing on the preservation of socio-cultural heritage and preservation of values and traditions, he said. A number of functions to mark World Tourism Day were held across Kashmir.
The main function by the Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir was held at Nehru Park in Srinagar which comprised a shikara race, kayaking, canoeing. Secretary, Youth Services and Sports and Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez, presided over the function and assured all stakeholders that the department is committed to promoting the tourism sector in a big way.
Wearing traditional attire (pheran), over 50 boatmen participated in the shikara race giving Dal Lake a festive look. Earlier in the day, Hafeez flagged off a rally of mountain bikers at TRC from Srinagar to Doodpathri in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
The highlight of the rally was the participation of an 84-year-old cyclist, Ghulam Rasool, the spokesperson said.