G20: Kashmir all set to host biggest international event in 37 years


Srinagar: The stage is all set for the third G20 Tourism Working Group Committee meeting in Srinagar.

This is the first biggest international event in Kashmir since India-Australia one-day match at Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in 1986.

The three-day meeting will kick off at Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Center (SKICC) from May 22. The first Working Group meeting was held in February at Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The second meeting was held from April 1 to 3 in Siliguri, West Bengal.

The meeting will see a galaxy of delegates from the G20. Group of Twenty is a forum of the world’s advanced and emerging economies that collectively represent approximately 80% of global economic output and two-thirds of the world’s population.

The event will focus on five inter-connected priority areas — green tourism, digitalization, skills, tourism MSMEs, and destination.

“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 and ministerial meeting,” said Union Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh.

G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

“Discussions and deliberations will be held on two key deliverables of the Tourism Working Group, which include Goa roadmap for tourism as a vehicle for achieving sustainable development goals and G20 Tourism Ministers’ Declaration,” said Arvind.

Excitement has reached its peak with people putting up banners at different places welcoming G20 delegates. From common man to the trader and from a student to the shopkeeper, people see the G20 meeting as an opportunity to showcase the true potential of Kashmir.

It is for the first time that life has not been disrupted due to any event. Shops and business establishments are functioning normally. Transport is plying without any hitch. Schools and colleges are open. Security arrangements have been made in such a way that the common man does not feel inconvenienced.

“This summit will create a feel-good factor for arts and crafts,” Musadiq Shah, Senior Vice-President, Kashmir Pashmina Organization (KPO) told The Kashmir Monitor.

Such is the excitement that Jammu Inc too has requested the government to arrange a trip of G 20 to the winter capital.

“CCI requests the Union Government that if possible, the government should arrange the visit of the delegates attending the summit, to Jammu areas also so that they can visit the world-famous places like Patnitop, Sudhmahadev, Mantalai, and the holy shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Katra. These places are being visited by lakhs of the people. The visit of the delegates to Jammu areas will prove as a milestone for improving the tourism sector of Jammu,” said Arun Gupta, President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jammu.

Delegates will be given a red carpet welcome once they touch down at Srinagar airport. Srinagar has been decked like a bride for the G20 meeting. The Interior and exterior of the venue are being reworked to suit the theme of the meeting. Digital infrastructure is being refurbished to ensure hassle-free deliberations. Roads leading to the venue are being beautified. Smart city projects have been put on the fast track to ensure hassle-free movement.__The Kashmir Monitor