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Enhanced Security Blankets Srinagar Ahead of G20 Tourism Working Group Gathering

Srinagar Set for International Spotlight as G20 Tourism Meeting Commences

20-05-2023 : In anticipation of the impending G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting, due to begin on May 22nd, the city of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir has been decorated amid exceptionally strict security measures.

Following the termination of its special status in 2019, Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two union territories. This big international event is the first of its type to be held there since that time. The G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

As of Friday, three countries, namely China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, had not yet registered for participation in the three-day G20 event in Kashmir. However, elaborate security arrangements have been put in place around the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar, which will serve as the venue for the meeting. The SKICC, located on the banks of Dal Lake, has been refurbished for the event, and the road leading to the venue has been enhanced as part of the ongoing Smart City projects.

To ensure a comprehensive security cover, elite marine commandos and National Security Guards (NSG) have already been deployed in Srinagar for area domination and to counter any potential militant threats. The police, army, and central armed police forces are maintaining round-the-clock surveillance, implementing a three-tier security system for the meeting. As a precautionary measure, nearly a dozen schools in Srinagar and adjoining Budgam have been temporarily closed.

The security measures also extend to the residential areas of minority communities, emphasizing the importance of protecting all citizens during this event. The G20 Tourism Working Group meeting, taking place from May 22nd to 24th, aims to facilitate discussions and deliberations on key deliverables such as the GOA Roadmap for Tourism, which aligns tourism with sustainable development goals, and the G20 Tourism Ministers’ Declaration.

During the meeting, G20 member countries, invited countries, and international organizations will provide valuable inputs and feedback on these draft documents. Following negotiations with G20 member countries, the final versions will be presented at the fourth Tourism Working Group meeting and Ministerial meeting. The event will focus on five interconnected priority areas, namely green tourism, digitalization, skills, tourism micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and destination development.

On May 22 and 23, there will also be a separate event on “Film Tourism for Economic Growth and Cultural Preservation.” With the participation of G20 member nations, invited nations, international organisations, and industry stakeholders, this event will focus on methods to encourage film tourism. A comprehensive “National Strategy on Film Tourism” will be unveiled, offering a path for utilising the power of films to promote tourist locations and showing this industry’s potential for both economic development and cultural preservation.