Jammu & Kashmir

‘Tourism sector in Kashmir on standstill mode for last more than one year’

‘Authorities suffer confusion to initiate required efforts to revive the sector’

Srinagar: Despite the tall claims of the Jammu and Kashmir administration about its efforts to revive the tourism in Kashmir, the tourists at the moment don’t seem to be coming to Kashmir.

Analysts are attributing the decline in the tourism, to the uncertain political situation in Jammu and Kashmir since August last, after Article 370 and 35-A was revoked by the government of India and dividing the erstwhile state into two union territories- Ladakh and JK.

Since August 5th 2019, when the unprecedented bill of abrogation of stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status was passed and month’s long lockdown was imposed, the Kashmir’s tourism sector came to a complete halt.

Another major blow that the sector received, came in the shape of COVID, which left it devastated, coming out of which, the sector seems to have miserably failed so far.

Tourism sector, which provides employment to thousands of the locals, has received a blow due to the unexpected situations, which the Tourism Department has so far failed to cope up with.

Be it house boat owners, hoteliers, Shikarawalas, tour operators or dealers in handicraft, thousands associated with the sector are at the verge of starvation, due to sitting idle for more than one year now

Pertinently, prior to the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, tourism was in full swing in Kashmir; however with an advisory issued to the tourists to leave Kashmir by the government, citing security reasons, those tourists present in the valley were forced to leave in haste.

Not only the tourists, but thousands of Amarnath yatris also left the valley in a few hours, when Yatra was at its peak, a phenomenon which has never been witnessed before, during more than a century old history of Amarnath Yatra.

Although because of the ban on international flights due to COVID, it is impossible for international tourists to come to the valley, but even the indigenous tourists have avoided planning their trips to Kashmir.

Gulmarg, which used to come alive with the first snowfall with a lot of indegenous tourists coming over to witness snow, have avoided the option to visit the picturesque destination, despite a heavy snowfall received during the last two days.

Meanwhile the tourism department seems to be incapable in reviving the tourism activities, with the administration also failing to fix priorities.

It is worthwhile to mention here that JK administration recently organized many events on international tourism day at a huge cost, ranging from cycle race from TRC Srinagar to Dodhpathri, boat race in Dal lake and cultural events at several tourist destinations; which have yielded zero results in wooing tourists towards Kashmir, except siphoning off huge exchequer from the administration coffers.

Tourism sector, along with handicrafts and Floriculture sectors happens to be the most important sector, which provides direct employment to thousands of locals, who are without livelihood for more the a year now, because of the forced eclipse on the sector, who may die of starvation, if the administration does not come up with immediate measures to put the sector back on rails.

(Syndicated feed from KDC)


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