Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 22 (ANI): 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 from May 20-22.
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 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. Michael Kugelman, director of the South Asia program at the Wilson Center, said that the G20 meeting is designed to highlight opportunities in tourism, investment and infrastructure sectors.
Kugelman stated that the meeting has been planned to demonstrate that Kashmir is willing to engage with the world, Nikkie Asia reported. Kugelman said, "And it appears for much of the world there is a view that Kashmir is now an opportunity and not a problem."Tourism Ministry secretary Arvind Singh, while addressing a press conference at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) on Sunday, said the stage is set for discussions and deliberations on final deliverables.
"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 compared to the first two Tourism Working Group Meetings at Rann of Kutch and Siliguri," Arvind Singh said.
Arvind Singh further said G20 member countries, invited countries, and international organizations will give valuable inputs and feedback on these two draft documents and after negotiations with G20 Member Countries on these drafts, final versions will be placed in the 'Fourth Tourism Working Group Meeting'. (ANI)