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J&K government’s bid to revive Bollywood connect to boost tourist footfall

Kashmir was a popular Bollywood shooting location in the 1980s.

Kashmir was a popular Bollywood shooting location in the 1980s.  

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Kashmir is not a place of terrorism, but a paradise of tourism, it says

The J&K administration used popular Bollywood singer Muhammad Rafi’s 11th award ceremony to woo back film-makers, first such outreach post abrogation of special status on August 5.

“Kashmir is not a place of terrorism, but a paradise of tourism. Unfortunately a negative perception has been created to the outside world while the ground reality is entirely different. To see the reality, you will have to visit the place and I am sure you will find it as peaceful as any other part of the country,” Farooq Khan, advisor to Lieutenant Governor of J&K, told audience, including directors, actors and producers, in Mumbai on Tuesday evening.

Mr. Khan was speaking at a function organised by ‘Spandan Arts’ in connection with the presentation of the awards. This is the first major bid to woo the industry at a time when the tourism industry is going through a rough patch.

Official figures suggest that Kashmir witnessed 87% dip in tourist footfall this year — from 2.49 lakh tourists visiting Valley in 2018.

Referring to Bollywood’s frequent shootings in the 1980s, Mr. Khan said the film industry had a very cherished and affectionate relationship with Kashmir in the eighties and early nineties but due to various reasons that connection had been lost in the past few years.

“It is the right time for reviving that age-old link between Bollywood and Kashmir. The film fraternity should renew that old connection by starting to explore the Union Territory with new dynamism by shooting films at virgin locations in and around Jammu and Kashmir.”

He said it’s time to change people’s perception. “The UT is ideal for high end tourism with varied areas and products for which the infrastructure is continuously being upgraded.”

He said the government was committed in its endeavours to promoting J&K “as the safest place for tourism and investment”, referring to the upcoming three-day global investors summit.

“Hosting of the J&K Investor Summit will provide the UT with an opportunity to showcase its strengths, strategies and potential,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 2:01:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jk-governments-bid-to-revive-bollywood-connect-to-boost-tourist-footfall/article30397250.ece

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