Kashmir tourism seeing tough times

Friday, October 25, 2019


In spite of the government opening up J&K for travelers, this season could be a disaster for the state. Both tourists and travel operators are witnessing slow bookings.


After remaining locked down for around two months, on October 10, the government re-opened Kashmir for tourists. But the uncertainties still continue.


“This season has been wiped out. Though officially tourists are allowed, several clearances are needed. Before taking tourists to the place we will have to make inspection visits so that we are confident enough,’ said Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook India.


With the tourist season on, tour operators do not expect much from Kashmir. However, the travel operators are receiving messages from the tourism department, house boat owners and travel agents that it is safe to travel to the place.


“This December will not be like those in the past. But we are receiving messages from the local trade and government. After Diwali, we will make our inspection of the place,” said Kapil Goswamy, MD, Big


Kashmir usually sees around 20 to 25 per cent share of the country’s tourist arrivals. In 2018, Kashmir witnessed the lowest arrivals in seven years. Only 8.5 lakh domestic and foreign tourists visited the valley last year, which is a decline of 23 per cent from 2017.


Summer is the biggest tourist season for Kashmir. Unfortunately, this summer turned out to be cold for Kashmir tourism following the Pulwama attack and the Balakot strike in February.


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