Kashmir Valley sees a flurry in tourists again
Published on : Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Winding lines at the airport’s baggage claim, families waiting at Dal Lake to get into a shikara, couples posing in traditional Kashmiri attire at NishatBagh, a busy LalChowk, crowded restaurants, fully booked hotels —Kashmir Valley is once again abuzz with tourists, and local authorities are happy, since it is the biggest footfall in 10 years!
Although there are anxieties regarding the security situation, for many tourists, their first visit to the Valley is a “dream come true”. These tourists are visiting the Valley in groups, along with their families, from across India.
PraveenaDarshan from Mumbai, a tourist said, “This is a dream. Are we really in Kashmir? It is like a dream come true. I always wanted to visit Kashmir, and, finally, we mustered the courage to do so. This was the best decision ever. This is heaven on earth. Moreover, so much security around is very reassuring. We feel safe.”
More than 3.5 lakh tourists visited Kashmir in the last three months. This number is expected to soar in the coming months. Around 6.6 lakh tourists from across India visited the Valley last year.
Since 2019, J&K has been witnessing a considerable decline in tourist footfall, after the scrapping of Article 370. WithCovid restrictions, tourists dropped in greater numbers, which impacted the Valley’s active tourism industry heavily.
“We have not seen such a footfall in the last 10 years, since 2012. Our data shows that this has been a bumper season for us,” said Dr. G.N. Itoo, the Director of Kashmir Tourism.
Dr. Itooadded, “Every season we get around 50,000 tourists on average, and now, in just three months, we have over 3 lakh. People are now confident that it is safe to travel to Kashmir,” he added. “Our initiatives for boosting tourism have borne fruit. The local traders, businessmen who depend on tourism, and Kashmir’s economy, will get a big boost.”
Tags: Kashmir Valley