It’s only after the removal of ‘special status’, India now has the opportunity to showcase how special Kashmir is to the world through G20 summit
The ongoing G20 Summit in Kashmir marks a momentous leap of faith, not only due to its strategic location and breathtaking beauty but also as a platform to showcase the transformative changes witnessed in the valley since the abrogation of its special status. This landmark event serves as a resounding response to the Western media’s persistent narrative, debunking the propaganda surrounding the post-370 valley. As delegates from around the world gather amidst the majestic landscapes, Kashmir seizes the opportunity to present its true essence and dispel misconceptions, setting the stage for a new chapter in the region’s narrative.
Delegates and journalists from around the world have arrived in Srinagar, where the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre has been prepared for the meetings. Over 60 delegates are expected to participate in discussions on global tourism promotion from May 22-24, 2023.
This event provides Kashmir with a valuable opportunity to showcase its natural beauty and tourism potential. The presence of the G20 Tourism Working Group in Kashmir demonstrates the region’s significance and aims to foster global tourism development. Secretary of Tourism, Syed Abid Rashid Shah, expressed optimism about the event’s successful conclusion.
In addition to G20 countries, guest countries like Bangladesh, Egypt, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain, and the UAE have been invited to attend the event. Under India’s G20 Tourism Track, the TWG focuses on five priority areas: Green Tourism, Digitalisation, Skills, Tourism MSMEs, and Destinations. These areas are crucial for accelerating the tourism sector’s transition and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Jammu and Kashmir experienced a record influx of 1.88 crore tourists in 2022, marking a historic milestone. The enhanced security measures across the state and the crackdown on separatist elements by the administration have contributed to the region’s peace and stability.
The decision to host the G20 in Kashmir highlights the efforts of security agencies in dismantling the terror machinery and separatist ecosystem, leading to a reduction in violence, stone pelting incidents, and curfews since the abrogation of Article 370.
The G20 meetings in Kashmir not only enhance India’s global standing but also send strategic signals. It presents an opportunity for Western democracies to explore and invest in the state, promoting economic growth and cultural preservation. The side event on film tourism emphasizes strategies to further promote tourism in the region. It signifies the positive changes in the region and provides an opportunity for international collaboration and investment in Jammu and Kashmir.