G20 delegates enjoy shikara boat ride in J-K’s Srinagar

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SRINAGAR: The G20 delegates enjoyed the famous shikara boat ride in Srinagar’s Dal Lake on the first day of the third Tourism Working Group meeting on Monday.

“Ended the day with a scenic shikara ride on the Dal Lake followed by a cultural performance and delicious wazwan dinner! Thank you@g20org@JandKTourism@srinagaradmin@tourismgoi for the impeccable arrangements!” tweeted Singapore in India.

As the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir became a host to the 3rd G20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting under India’s G20 presidency, all eyes are set on the historic three-day event being held in Srinagar.

The first day of the G20 tourism meet began on Monday despite a boycott from China and Pakistan, Taiwan News reported. India, under its G20 presidency, is currently holding meetings across the country in the lead-up to the G20 Summit scheduled to be held in September in New Delhi.

The mega G20 tourism meet in Srinagar has clearly caught the attention of international media, with many of them highlighting India’s efforts of showcasing the restoration of stability and normalcy in Kashmir.

The G20 delegations arrived at Sheikh-ul Alam International Airport in Srinagar as the mega event began. They were greeted by rows of lamp posts illuminated in the colours of the Indian national flag and billboards featuring the G20 logo, Nikkei Asia reported. India is hosting a significant international event in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.

The excitement of the authorities over Kashmir’s role in India’s G20 presidency is palpable, Nikkei Asia reported. Footpaths have been renovated and roadside walls have been painted in peach and white. The development comes as Srinagar undergoes a makeover under a smart city scheme.

The G20 delegates at the convention centre of Dal Lake will hold discussions on green tourism, destination management, ecotourism, and the use of films to promote tourist destinations.

Singapore’s High Commissioner to India, Simon Wong, has praised the beauty of Kashmir and said that he is “very happy” to be in Srinagar. Taking to his official Twitter handle, Simon Wong said, “Very happy to be in Srinagar. Pure beauty. Thank u so much for your warm welcome. HC Wong”.

An ethnic and magnificent display of traditional dance forms by local Artists, showcasing Jammu and Kashmir’s cultural heritage, was also done. The security measures have been heightened in Srinagar. The Ministry of Tourism in the press release said that G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar aims to strengthen economic growth, preserve cultural heritage, and promote sustainable development of the region.

India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant on Monday said that there cannot be a better place than Kashmir for shooting movies. He made the remarks at the third G20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting in Srinagar.

“You will see a vast number of films being shot here. Much like many Indian films are being shot abroad. But, in India, let me tell you, having travelled across the world, there is and I can tell you very sincerely that there is the finest destination anywhere in the world to shoot a movie and to shoot a romance that it cannot be a better place than Kashmir”, Amitabh Kant said.

For this three-day G20 Summit, from May 22-24, Kashmir is under a three-tier security grid for aerial surveillance drone monitoring put in place National Security Guard (NSG) and MARCOS commandos have been deployed around the venue Jammu and Kashmir Police’s special operation group (SOG) have been deployed at several places to give security cover to prevent from any terror incident.

Spain, Singapore, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil and India are among seven countries to discuss the global perspective of film tourism, as well as, its economic benefits and impact in J-K.

This is the only working group meeting taking place in Srinagar as part of the G20 effort with excellent response from all the member countries, all the invited countries and the international organisations, having the highest participation registered.

The G20 delegations were welcomed by Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, along with Amitabh Kant G20 Sherpa at Srinagar Airport. An ethnic and magnificent display of traditional dance forms by local Artists, showcasing Jammu and Kashmir’s cultural heritage, was also done. (ANI)

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