Slump in tourist footfall continues, travel agents suffer

BK Correspondent/Srinagar:
July 17, 2017 STATE 114 Views
Slump in tourist footfall continues, travel agents suffer

Even as the peak tourism season for Kashmir’s tourism industry is has completed by the end of June, the foot fall of tourists has ceases to improve as tour operators claim negligible bookings for upcoming months.
As per the tour operators, the peak season for Kashmir tourism begins from April till June as majority of the states outside the valley tend to be warm during this period.
After suffering loss worth over Rs 6,000 crores last year, the tourist footfall this year also remained affected due to “unfavourable” conditions.
The prevailing condition of the Kashmir’s tourism can be gauged with the fact the Amarnath pilgrimage, which usually remains unaffected, is witnessing low booking for upcoming months.
Fayaz Ahmad a travel agent said that less than 10 per cent of the touristsvisited to the valley during the three month long peak season compared to previous year.
“This year the tourism inflow has been disappointing. You can imagine the condition of Kashmir tourism with the fact that that the peak season is almost over and there are no signs of improvement in the tourist arrival ahead. As per our calculation around 10 per cent of the tourists have visited to the valley compared to the previous year,” he said.
Ahamd said that the flow of the pilgrims has also been low so far, which he estimates as 30 per cent compared to previous year.
“We fear that there is some economic blockade at the nation level for Kashmir. Even Yatris are not turning up to visit Kashmir in huge number now, t the situation will improve so that tourists can visit here,” he said.
The state government held over a dozen of promotional campaigns outside state during winter season. But the flow of tourists declined steeply post-parliamentary polls in Srinagar when nearly nine civilians were killed.
Post 2014, floods the tourist inflow to the valley has been declining massively.
During 2015, only 92, 03,691 tourists visited the state, including 28,954 foreigners and 91, 74,737 domestic tourists.
Of them, 9, 27,815 visited Kashmir.
In 2016, 27, 68, 073 tourists visited the state, including 24,516 foreigners and 27, 43, 557 Indians.
The tourist flow to Kashmir declined to 4, 03, 442 in 2016 due to the unrest following Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani’s killing.

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