Leading from the front, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who also holds the tourism portfolio in the state, was on a week-long tourism promotion blitz, covering Mumbai, Ahmedabad and New Delhi. Meeting with hundreds of travel trade, media, corporate and film personalities, Sayeed said he has a vision to promote Gulmarg as India’s Davos where country’s top business and policymakers can hold annual summits. At meetings with leading Bollywood filmmakers and actors in Mumbai, the Chief Minister requested them to rediscover the state as a destination for film shoots. Though the well known scenic attractions of Jammu and Kashmir need no introduction for the film industry, the Chief Minister said that these would now be backed by a facilitating environment by the state government.He called upon the leading tour and travel operators of the country to “infuse their professional skills in designing attractive packages for domestic and overseas travellers to visit J&K.”“Gulmarg is a world-famous tourist destination. We have state-of-the-art cable car, high-end hotels, skiing and heli-skiing activities and great road connectivity. I wish we host an Indian Davos at Gulmarg,” Sayeed added.Unveiling his plans to reposition Jammu and Kashmir as the country’s top tourist and all-season destination, Sayeed sought cooperation from all to change the course of the state and remove the trust deficit. Emphasising upon the steps taken to increase capacity, Mufti Sayeed said the government will take up the issue of operating chartered flights between Delhi and Srinagar to check rising air fares as well as running special trains from Ahmedabad, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai to Jammu to provide alternate mode of transport to the travellers.Focusing on promotion of elite leisure activities, the Chief Minister said emphasis is being laid on golfing, conference and corporate tourism for which tie-ups with leading business firms and companies will be shortly worked out.Haseeb Drabu, State Finance and Culture Minister, who also accompanied the Chief Minister, talked about the importance of countering perceptions with clear communication about the real situation as far as safety and security were concerned, as well as about natural calamities, like the floods. With his strong background in business and industry (Drabu is an economist who has earlier served as Chairman of JK Bank, and also as Editor of Business Standard), Drabu wanted the travel trade to give a push among the corporate sector to motivate them to hold their conferences, board meetings, and AGMs in J&K, with golf and adventure tourism thrown in.The various tourism projects and programmes of the state government were outlined by Farooq Ahmad Shah, Managing Director, JKTDC, and Director Tourism, who is an old hand at tourism in the state, with a number of marketing and tourism infrastructure initiatives to his credit, including the cable car, the tulip gardens, Zaberwan Park, renovation of the Nageen Club, The Royal Springs Golf Course etc.The tourism department is also focussing on making Jammu and Kashmir a 365-days destination, and expanding the reach beyond the usual hotspots of Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, and Srinagar, to include other and lesser-known destinations like Ladakh, Patnitop, Bhaderwah, Gurez, Dodhpathri, Kokernag, Verinag, Yusmarg etc.The delegation also included stakeholders of the travel and tourism industry from the state.