On October 10, 2009, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah inaugurated the two-day Indian Kashmir Mega Festival. At the inauguration, Mr Abdullah said that tourism was a vital sector in the state and efforts would be made to take it to the number one position in the global tourist industry. On this occasion Mr Nawang Rigzin Jora (Minister for Tourism and Culture), State Minister Nasir MLA Zadibal, Peer Afaq, Commissioner Secretary Tourism S. Tanveera Jehan, Director Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Managing Director, JKTDC, Satesh Nehru, tourism traders, trade agents and houseboat owners were also present.
Mr Nawang Rigzin Jora said that the main purpose of the festival was to enhance summer tourism and to depict the culture, heritage, art and craft of the valley. He informed that the world renowned Tulip Garden, sited in the lap of Zabarwan Hills, had extended the summer season to one month. He also said that Rs. 25 crore had been sanctioned for preservation of heritage sites of Srinagar. At the inauguration, the example of the 15-day Ladakh Festival, organized by the tourism department, in the month of September, was also sited by the Minister.
At the inauguration, State Minister Nasir said that the main aim of government was to project Kashmir as a year-round tourist destination for national and global tourists and believed that the collective efforts of people from travel industry could help achieve the aim. He reiterated that by conscious efforts of all stake holders involved in tourism industry, Kashmir could regain the number one position it once had.