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Written by: Manvi Singh
Mr G Kamala Vardhana Rao (IAS), Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India felicitated the PHDCCI Golf Tourism Conclave and Tournament with his presence at Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir earlier in October.
G Kamala Vardhana Rao at the Conclave
Bringing together the stakeholders on one platform, namely the private sector and the government to discuss issues and growth opportunities for the promotion of golf tourism, the PHDCCI stood by the theme of the event ‘Rejuvenating Tourism & Business through Golf’.
The delivery of the keynote address Mr G Kamala Vardhana Rao (IAS), Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “Golf Tourism in India has immense potential which can uplift the economy by increasing the GDP, foreign exchange earnings while generating employment opportunities. It is one of the thrust areas of the Ministry of Tourism and the government is willing to extend necessary support to the states to further promote this niche segment.”
He further stated that the emerging trend of playing golf among the youth has motivated the government and the private players to improve infrastructure, including golf courses of international standards and trained manpower. India needs to develop more golf destinations to meet the growing demand of golfers, he added.
The Inaugural Session was graced by Mr Sarmad Hafeez (IAS), Secretary – Tourism, UT of Jammu and Kashmir; H.E. Dr Ashraf Shikhaliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan; H.E. Mr Ung Sean, Ambassador of Royal Embassy of Cambodia; H.E. Mr Willy K. Bett, High Commissioner of Kenya; H.E. Mr Moe Kyaw Aung, Ambassador of Myanmar; H.E. Mr Fleming Duarte, Ambassador of the Republic of Paraguay; H.E. Mr Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., Ambassador of the Philippines; H.E. Mr Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; Mr Rajan Sehgal, President, India Golf Tourism Association; Mr Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHDCCI; and Dr Jatinder Singh, Assistant Secretary-General, PHDCCI.
Inaugural tee-off at the tournament
A panel discussion on ‘Rejuvenating Tourism & Business through Golf’ was also organized which was moderated by Mr Rajan Sehgal, President, IGTA. The panellists included Mr Ghulam Nabi Itoo (KAS), Director – Tourism (Kashmir), UT of Jammu and Kashmir; Mr Mushtaq Burza, President, Jammu & Kashmir Golf Association; Mr Uday Marwah, Founder & Director, Premier Lifestyle Management; Mr Arshad Shawl, Managing Committee Member, PHDCCI; and Mr Vicky Shaw, Senior Member – Kashmir Chapter, PHDCCI.
The subject was passionately discussed by the panellists, who sought various interventions from the government like accessibility so that this sector progresses by leaps and bounds. As Indian golfers ascend new heights, the popularity of the sport is bound to improve and appeal to the larger section of the country.
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