Rumours kill tourist traffic to Kashmir.
By Muzamil Ahmad Bhat
Srinagar: Additional deployment of forces coupled with rumours that the Central Government was going to do something big in Kashmir has declined the queries about the arrivals for Kashmir. Tourist’s footfall is likely to reduce in the month of August, as the rumours according to the people connected with tourist trade with Kashmir have killed the season once more.
Thousands of families connected with tourist trade are already under debt because of very low tourist traffic in the past few years to Kashmir especially after the summer of year 2016, when Burhan Wani was killed followed by month’s long unrest. Thousands of families with the trade in Kashmir are finding it very difficult to survive without any healthy tourist footfall to Kashmir.
The latest rumours and the additional deployment of forces is going to impact tourist arrivals for autumn season to Kashmir. Many tour and travel agencies operating from Kashmir said that they were getting lot of calls and queries for the fresh bookings but in the past few days, such calls have disappeared.
During the tourist season, negative media coverage of Kashmir from New Delhi based news channels, additional deployment of forces, price hike in the air tickets and now the frequent closure of Srinagar Jammu highway has disappointed the people connected with the trade.
The angry stakeholders are saying that New Delhi was not serious for the tourist season to pickup and questioned the silence of the authorities for many days about the rumours till the season got a hit. They said that under a pattern, many vested interests were making each tourist season a flop in Kashmir thus bringing thousands of families to the brink of debt and bankruptcy. In absence of any package for those families who have been hit by low tourism in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir are making their fears reality that the authorities want them to beg for survival.
Governor’s administration in the recent past held several high level meeting for the revival of tourism in Kashmir and decided to go for multi crore advertisement campaigns to bring tourists but there was no package announce for those poor people like Shakara Walas who have now no money to carry even the education of their wards.