Jammu & Kashmir is planning to develop its own golf circuit in a big way for the international tourist as well as the domestic corporate tourists. Sundeep Kumar Nayak, Principal Secretary to Government – Tourism Department, Government of Jammu & Kashmir, after taking his position gave an exclusive interview to Travel News Digest, speaking about the tourism developments in Jammu & Kashmir. “It will be a MICE kind of arrangement where you come not only to play but also mix business and play together. We are trying to tie up with golf circuits like South Asian and South East Asian golf circuits so that golf is promoted as an independent destination in Jammu & Kashmir and also as a part of MICE,” he said.He also added, “We have improved and refurbished our entire infrastructure in the Kashmir valley as well as in Ladakh and Jammu. We have a new circuit of premium golf courses Pahalgam, Gulmarg and, of course, the royal spring golf course in Srinagar. The Pahalgam property of the tourism corporation has come up very well. The Pahalgam club is a brand new property which we have commissioned in November-December last year and we have also introduced helicopter sightseeing in the valley. Apart from this, we have given a lot of incentives to our own tour and travel trade where they have also gone for the renovation of their properties and also different aspects of the transport. The state government has gone for a major role building exercise, they have improved the riding surface in the valley in the Jammu province, and all this are aimed at facilitating the visitors. I will make special mention of the Vaishno Devi tourism, as almost 95% of our tourist, they come to the Mata Darshan and it is being developed as a circuit. We have plans to introduce shuttle bus service from Patnitop so that people can stay a few days more and visit the nearby places.”Nayak said, “Yusmarg is one of the most beautiful and unexplored places in Kashmir valley. Yusmarg Development Authority is planning to introduce skiing in a good way along with other adventure sports like mountaineering. The access to Yusmarg has been improved with better roads and the accommodation is also very good. We are re-establishing and revisiting our relationship with the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. We also had a meeting with the Himalayan Mountaineering Group recently and we are going to invite all the people to come to Kashmir and Ladakh for mountaineering and trekking. We are also developing new trekking routes in the upper reaches of Jammu along with the Mughal road which is highly unexplored and it will come up as a good destination for the trekkers.”Nayak also noted that for the last couple of years, Bollywood has taken note of the new infrastructure and new things which have come up in the Kashmir valley and Jammu and Ladakh. “We are going to pitch the film industry to take up Kashmir valley as a shooting location a big way and we are working towards that. Not only Bollywood, we would also like to invite other filmmakers from rest of the country and outside India to come and shoot in Jammu & Kashmir, for that we are going to have single window clearance for filming.”Lastly, Nayak stated that there are many destinations which are pristine and untouched in Jammu and Kashmir like in the Chenab valley there are many such destinations and the districts of Kastovert and the district of Doda, Adarva and also in places like Rajouri and Poonch. These are the places where perhaps the tourists would like to explore when they come to Kashmir, apart from the areas in Kupwara district and Baramulla district. Places like Ori, Keran, Machil and Lolab Valley where tourists can come in addition to the Sonmarg and upper reaches of Sonmarg.