`TVDP’: J&K government to develop 181 tourist villages to increase footfalls, stimulate economic growth

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Tourist Village Development Programme (TVDP) has the potential to mobilize the diverse geographical and socio-economic landscape of the entire Jammu and Kashmir.

The ambitious program under the Mission Youth initiative, which aims at developing 181 villages having distinction in terms of scenic beauty, adventurous terrain, art and cultural significance, history, and archaeology, is gaining tremendous momentum with a heavy tourist influx thronging the new destinations.

The main objectives of the programme are to develop new tourism destinations which will integrate social, cultural, and spiritual characteristics with economic contours having requisite infrastructural facilities for tourists within such selected villages.

The villages that are part of the programme were selected based on their rural tourism potential in consultation with the Tourism Department by an expert committee of Mission Youth.

The scheme has twin benefits of promoting rural tourism and employment generation for local youth. For the youth who want to set up their ventures in the tourism and hospitality service sector, the gamut of financial assistance is worth Rs 10 lakh including Rs 8.50 lakh from a banking partner, Mission youth J&K will provide Rs 1.5 lakh or 15% of the project cost (whichever is minimum) as special upfront incentive (subsidy); under the scheme, a special subsidy of Rs 3.5 Lakh towards repayment of loan also.

Similarly, for developing Homestays under the Programme, financial assistance to the tune of Rs 1 Lakh including 0.85 Lakh from Banking partners. Mission Youth shall also provide an amount of 0.15 Lakh or 15% of the project cost (whichever is minimum) as a special upfront incentive, 25% of the project cost as upfront subsidy in case of women applicants besides a special subsidy of 0.35 Lakh loan towards repayment of the loan.

Moreover, the beneficiary must be unemployed and registered with the concerned District Employment and Counselling Centre. The initiative is destined to promote homestays across the UT and will strengthen the rural economy in the region, and turn youth into entrepreneurs besides empowering women by offering them numerous employment opportunities.

The initiative has also been launched keeping in view the potential of J&K for film shooting purposes. The initiative is also aimed to promote the shooting of films and offer financial aid to the villages for their sustainable development.

There are several regions in J&K that despite having greater tourism potential have not been able to garner requisite attention due to infrastructural bottlenecks. Destinations that lag in the sphere of tourism infrastructure can overcome the downsides by introducing homestays as a means of accommodation facilities for tourists.

The government also started the movement of promoting homestay tourism in the UT by launching Panchari, a village in the Udhampur district with mesmerizing beauty as the first tourist village with a homestay facility.

To seek assistance for Home Stay, the applicant needs to submit the application and required documents to the district nodal officer and the format of the application can be downloaded from the official website (https://missionyouth.jk.gov.in).

To seek assistance for self-employment activities in the Tourism and Hospitality service sector the applicant needs to submit a simple application along with the DPR of the proposed activity and requisite documents to the district nodal officer. For complete details, interested youth can visit scheme guidelines at the Mission Youth website. https://Youth.gov.in.