Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar today said there has been significant changes in the domestic tourism circuit which is pivoting more towards wellness, healthcare and other activities like adventure or sports and thereby triggering a demand for diverse skills and opportunities while meeting with leaders of the hotel industry at Patnitop. The Minister urged them to draw a roadmap for making Patnitop a vibrant tourist destination, taking into consideration its local advantages and resources.
He said road trips, places with smaller footprints, short term rentals or stay-at-home facilities have become more in vogue and the hotel industry must decide on the narrative for the destination, keeping these changes in mind. Tourism is all about human connect. The tourism fraternity must study, assess and deliberate, factoring in the resources and the skillsets available or required—to develop Patnitop as a pre-eminent tourist destination, he said.
Reiterating Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s emphasis on developing the local economy, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that self-help groups could play a big role in connecting the local craftspersons with the marketplace.
Our handicrafts exports last year were worth about 2 billion dollars and mostly done through e-commerce platforms. So to help the individual craftsperson, the SHGs could help as a bridge for market access, the Minister said.
The Minister also met students and members of tourism clubs who shared with him their ideas of developing Patnitop. In another meeting with electronics engineering students, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar spoke of Prime Minister’s Modi’s vision of New India and how there were tremendous opportunities available for them in the electronics/semicon manufacturing and design segments.
Earlier in the day, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar launched a sanitation drive in Patnitop and urged the people to keep this picturesque tourist town clean and plastic-free.
He also held a meeting with representatives from SHGs discussed with them the challenges they face and the opportunities available around market linkages and capacity building. He also met representatives of the PRIs and was apprised of their issues and challenges.
Later in Jammu, the Minister visited National Skill Training Institute and Regional Directorate of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Jammu. He took rounds of the various sections of the complex including the laboratory of Computer Software Application Trade and also interacted with the trainees and staff members.
Director of Skill Development, Jammu Kashmir Shri Sudarsan Kumar Shri. S. Santhimanalan, Regional Director, Shri. V. K. Saksena, Principal, NSTI, Srinagar were also present on the occasion.