Other States

It’s ‘Operation Bedlam’ for the tourism sector in Kashmir

Following the advisory to the Yatris and tourists that they should leave Kashmir a group of tourists walk along the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar on Friday, 02, August 2019.Photo:Nissar Ahmad / The Hindu.   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

Tourism has suffered a major jolt in Kashmir on Sunday. Against an average footfall of 3,000 tourists per day just the previous week, a trickle of 350 arrived in the Valley, despite the adverse advisory.

A Tourism department official told The Hindu that most hotels in tourist hotspots including Gulmarg and Pahalgam had been emptied following the advisory.

“Around 700 tourists are still in the Valley after helping around 90% tourists to leave Kashmir in the past two days. We expect 350 more to leave by Monday given their flight schedules. Thereafter 350 will be left. All arrangements have been made for those who want to leave the Valley safely,” said a senior tourism official.

According to data, Kashmir witnessed a major drop in tourists after the Pulwama attack in February, which witnessed India and Pakistan entering into a border duel.

Steady growth

However, April, May, June and July saw a steady growing numbers, from 17,172 in April to 60,844 in May and 1,16,572 in June and around 2 lakh in July, the official figures suggest.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry general secretary Farooq Amin said the sudden advisory had proved “Operation Bedlam” for people and the State economy.

“The change in policy has been evident from February 2019. Since then tourism, horticulture and other sectors of our economy suffered tremendous losses due to the decision of the government to restrict movement of civilians on the only road link of Srinagar-Jammu. It has hit the final nail in the coffin now,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 12:05:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/drastic-fall-in-number-of-tourists-to-kashmir/article28815490.ece

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