SRINAGAR: Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ahmad Ganai Sunday urged the national and international golf players to act as the ambassadors of Kashmir back home to promote it as a peaceful and an incredible destination to visit.
Ganai was speaking during award distribution ceremony to the winners of 7th J&K Golf Association Tournament at Royal Springs Golf Course.
While congratulating the winners, Ganai said J&K is producing some of the best golf players in the country and the tradition of golf has been kept alive by the golfers who play in various courses of the state and organize tournaments on regular basis.
He stressed on the national and international golfers to help in removing various stereotypes and promote JK as a peaceful tourist destination. He said organizing such events will help to send a loud and clear message that Kashmir is still an incredible destination to visit and that people must come and enjoy themselves as tourists and golfers
He urged the golfers belonging to various Indian cities to do their bit in promoting and projecting an image of Kashmir valley in such a way that it is seen as a peaceful place and also having a beautiful weather at this point of time to visit in their own way.
He hoped that such tournaments will help in focusing the attention of intending tourists on Kashmir in the ongoing autumn season.
Expressing concern over the decline in footfall of tourists in past few months, Ganai said and extra efforts needs to be taken to remove the negativity among the people about this place and said that golfers can act as ambassadors to help in projecting the real picture of Kashmir before the people so that they are attracted towards the natural beauty of Kashmir besides other attractions including the golf and other winter sports.
Ganai said the JK tourism Department is soon organizing a Fame Carnival at SKICC where guests from outside the state will be taken to different places with an aim to present a real picture of Kashmir that it is peaceful and waiting for the tourist to come.
The advisor congratulated and thanked golfers for choosing Kashmir as their favorite destination especially Shiv Kapoor, who has played golf around 80 countries and has twenty amateur and 11 professional titles to his name.
“The players like Shiv Kapoor have international fame and their presence in our courses will definitely promote J&K as golfing destination. We are expecting good number of golfers to visit J&K for more such tournaments in the future,” he said.
On the occasion Golfers from Delhi assured that they will facilitate a tour for the golfers from Kashmir, officials of Tourism department and other concerned persons to interact with various golfers and associations within and outside the country to give them exposure that will ultimately help in promote and develop golf in Kashmir that ultimately will also help in promoting tourism in the state.
Earlier Ganai who was the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony at RSGC gave away the awards to the winners.
Team Chinar captained by Mushtaq Ahmad Burza emerged winners of the 7th JK Golf Association Tournament here at Royal Springs Golf Course.
At Royal Springs Golf Course, the awards for the Straight Drive went to Rizwan Dar, Longest Drive went to Dr Shafkat Nazir, nearest to the Pin went to Arshad Qadri, and Bull’s Eye went to Ashiq Wani.
The first leg of the tournament was held at Pahalgam Golf Course on Saturday which was inaugurated by Member Parliament and National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah. Over 80 golfers participated on the first day at Pahalgam. Internationally acclaimed golfer Shiv Kapoor was major attraction of the tournament.
J&K Bank Chairman Parvez Ahmad, former JK Bank Chairman M Y Khan, Justice (Rtd) Muzaffar Jan, Director Tourism Kashmir Tasaduq Jeelani, MD Cum CEO J&K Golf Development and Management Authority Ghalib Mohiuddin Shah and President J&K Golf Association Mushtaq Burza, Deputy Directors Tourism Department Masrat Hashim, Reyaz A Shah, Sarfaraz Mohammad were also present at the award ceremony.
The tournament was jointly organised by Department of Tourism Kashmir and J&K Golf Association.