The hosting of the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar, Kashmir marks a significant milestone for India. Despite security concerns and cancellations of scheduled sightseeing visits, this event presents a unique opportunity to showcase the tourism potential and cultural richness of the region. With the participation of 60 delegates and 20 journalists from around the world, it is the highest recorded attendance for a G20 event in India.
The meeting serves as a platform to highlight the transformation that has taken place in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370. Union Minister Jitendra Singh emphasizes that it is an opportunity to dispel the shadow of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and demonstrate the aspirations of the local population for peace and development.
While China has decided to boycott the event, branding Kashmir a “disputed area,” the G20 delegates present an opportunity to be true messengers of the positive changes in Kashmir and India as a whole.
The meeting focuses on key priority areas such as green tourism, digitalization, skills, tourism MSMEs, and destinations. It aims to develop the Goa roadmap for tourism as a vehicle for achievable development goals and the G20 ministerial declaration. These outcomes will be crucial in shaping the future direction of tourism initiatives.
Furthermore, the side event on film tourism and the promotion of local handicrafts provide a glimpse into the cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir. Delegates will be presented with souvenirs representing the region’s unique craftsmanship.
Overall, the hosting of the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar showcases India’s commitment to promoting tourism, highlighting the region’s potential, and fostering international cooperation in the tourism sector.