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Kashmir tourism continue to struggle post Pulwama terror attack

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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Tourism in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has taken a major hit post the Pulwama terror attack and the rising tension with neighbouring Pakistan. Tourism players can’t see any hope of revival amid multiple cancellations by tour groups.

 

While the rest of India is reeling under a severe heat wave, the weather in the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir is pleasant, but there are no tourists on the ground. The famous tourist spots are witnessing sparse tourist presence with many blaming tension between India and Pakistan as the primary reason.

 

The state tourism department says that the industry contributes 16 per cent of the state’s total GDP.  The United States, the UK, and Australia have already updated their travel advisories for the Kashmir valley, keeping the foreign tourist away.

 

“We are fighting the perception that is being created about Kashmir which is that this place isn’t safe. We have to fight this and this is our big challenge right now. I want to tell every tourist, come and see our hospitality,” says Asif Burza, a reputed hotelier of Kashmir valley.

 

The hotels are empty which has led to a crisis of sorts, as some staff has been laid off and some tourism players looking for alternative opportunities. The all-important sector of the state is now struggling and fighting to revive itself.

 

The state’s tourism department is trying to reach out to people in different states of India by organising road shows and pumping money into advertising — all in the hope that people from these states would head to Kashmir.

 

“After the Pulwama incident, the inflow of tourists has been affected. Then, airfields were closed, which gave a wrong signal to the tourists, otherwise we had houseboats booked till June this year,” says Nasir Wani, the director of tourism, Jammu and  Kashmir.

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