Srinagar, Apr 8 : In a bid to revive tourism in Kashmir, the state's tourism department has planned to introduce jungle safaris, trekking and nature camps.
Jungle safaris and nature camps are innovative measures to explore the abundance of adventure in the valley and fuelling the adrenaline amongst visiting tourists.
Terming the move as a step towards 'Responsible Tourism', officials said that the new form of tourism would bring tourists close to nature, as they would be able to understand and value it better.
According to tourism officials, the safaris would be introduced in the valley in a year.
"We are setting up several camps and nature treks. We are conducting safaris which will be nature's safaris," said Sarmand Hafeez, Joint Director, Tourism,ashmir.
Moreover, under the plan, camp sites will be set up at a number of new places where nature lovers would be able to enjoy the scenic beauty.
The president of the houseboat owner's association has assured full support to the new strategy of the government, but fears that with jungle safaris being introduced, the frequency of tourists' inflow will increase in the natural habitats of endangered species, and so the government should take adequate precautions to protect the invaluable fauna.
Houseboat owners are happy about the revival of the trekking expeditions that were in vogue in the past.
"If the department of tourism does it, definitely we will render our services. The Houseboat Owners Association and travel division of houseboat owner's association would be frontrunners in the field. In fact trekking was introduced by houseboat owners' way back in 1860. So it will be very nice," said Azim Tauman, President, Houseboat Owners Association.
For the jungle safaris, the tourists will be visiting the Dachigam National Park in Srinagar, spread over an area of 140 sq. kms which is a habitat to the Kashmir stag (Hangul), black and brown bear, musk deer, leopards and large variety of migratory birds.
After the Gurez valley was thrown open for tourists last year, several new tourism destinations are set to open this year. By Suhail Ahmed