Beyond tourism festivals

A lot of tourism related activities are currently going on in Kashmir and many are in the offing. After witnessing over 15-year long worst slump, tourism in Kashmir began to show signs of revival 2005-onwards. But before it could pick up the pace, it had to weather the three consecutive groundswells that Kashmir saw in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The signs of recovery in 2011 were manifest and it was boom in 2012. This year the tourism though not largely affected by a number of pre-season untoward incidents, won’t probably cross the past year arrival figures, tourism festivals— both sponsored by the government as well as by the private parties— notwithstanding. However, that does not dilute the importance of holding tourism events aimed at attracting tourists from across the world to Kashmir.  But what is equally of fundamental importance when it comes to tourism in Kashmir is that this sector needs to be detached from the politics of the state. Kashmiris have always received the tourists with open arms. Even during the times of political crisis and public agitations when common people face difficult times, tourists have been spared of any trouble. But sadly some vested interests purely for political purposes have developed a tendency of relating the growth in the tourism sector with the arrival of peace and improvement in the condition in Kashmir. This approach which is doing a lot of disservice to this sector needs to be shunned. Tourism should be treated purely an economic activity with a potential to bring about widespread growth in state’s economy. Although the importance of horticulture, agriculture and industry in Kashmir economy cannot be downplayed, growth in tourism is vital to address the unemployment problem in the state.  Beyond the tourism festivals, the government should massively invest in the infrastructure in Kashmir. Although one cannot deny the importance of peace for tourism, this sector however also needs better infrastructure to lure visitors from across the world. Government needs to encourage private players in Kashmir to invest in tourism projects.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 15 May 2013 00:00:00 IST

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