Tourism within the post-Article 370 abrogation has emerged as a strategic asset for stakeholders in Kashmir as greater than two million arrivals until ending August have modified the best way tourism was checked out within the earlier years. Until yesteryear, tourism was considered as an economy-enriching exercise, producing employment, however there was at all times a concern of terrorism disrupting it halfway and even earlier than the season may begin.
This yr – 2022- has proven that Kashmir is a round-the-year vacationer vacation spot, not merely a holidaying place throughout summers or snowboarding on the snowy slopes. It has made a grand shit within the prism the best way Kashmir was checked out, perceived and publicized as a spot recognized for magnificence and its extraordinary hospitality. That’s true of a lot of the vacationer locations within the nation, however to transform it into 12-months a yr vacationer vacation spot has been an achievement.
Two views have emerged out of it- ( a) Kashmir’s tourism is uninterrupted in all of the 4 seasons – spring when the Valley is blessed with bloom throughout, freshets making the mountains look extra lovely, and the water our bodies – rivers, lakes and buying newness of their shimmering colors; ( b) it has added to the boldness of the people who issues are easy and the vacationers coming from varied components of the nation are eager to interact with the vacationer resorts as additionally the individuals past the stakeholders within the tourism trade. The brand new people- to individuals bond has emerged.
This notion has modified due to the mutual belief that vacationers have within the locals and vice-versa. “ This belief encourages us to do extra for the vacationers. We all know that their phrase of mouth will matter greater than anything, everybody is aware of Kashmir is blessed with unmatched magnificence, however after they speak of the interior magnificence and love of the individuals right here to their individuals again dwelling, that generates a bond,” says Mushtaq Chaya, who’s Chairman of J&Ok Hoteliers Membership, and likewise a number one hotelier within the Union Territory.
Kashmir is conscious of the truth that tourism is probably the most seen exercise that promotes the land, brings jobs, and enriches financial system, however extra importantly, it helps in negating the unfavourable perceptions that had spawned due to the 30-year-old turmoil. There have been unhappy incidents – devastating floods in 2014, and big disruption in regular life because of the road protests in 2016. These years left the tourism trade in tatters and the vacationers would rethink earlier than embarking on journey to Kashmir, famously often known as “ paradise on earth”. The wonder is nice, the vacationers would say, however the security and safety to life is extra necessary.
These unlucky occasions introduced tough instances for the stakeholders in tourism sector. There was shortage in arrival of vacationers, and the hoteliers, houseboat house owners needed to lay off their workers, whereas taxi operators and ponywallahs struggled to make each ends meet. These had been very tough instances.
Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafiz is of the view that the 2022 has modified every part. This has not given Kashmir tourism not solely what it wished the revival of the trade that advantages everybody, from a road vendor to houseboat proprietor to shikarawalla, but in addition stuffed the gaps within the perceptions concerning the place right here and the locations from the place the vacationers got here. The notion has modified – Kashmir is now having constructive notion in all places.
This transformation within the perceptions, the stakeholders imagine, will convey an increasing number of vacationers, as this has additionally inspired them to ship greater than the dimensions of their guarantees made to them. The filling of those gaps will assist Kashmir to be considered in another way within the strategic phrases because it has negated the negatives, added positives and helped it current what actual Kashmir is – a land of peace and prosperity.
All of the stakeholders have attributed these positives to the pro-active method of the UT authorities beneath Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to make Kashmir shine on the world map . This brings further advantages , because it nudges the traders within the land the place vacationers really feel protected and transfer round in extremely constructive scenario. “ We imagine that this transformation in air in Kashmir is useful to all. That’s why we had been pushing this sector from all instructions with energetic public participation,” Manoj Sinha has reiterated it again and again.