Kashmir Unrest: Drop in tourist arrivals hits dry fruit business in Jammu
With the sharp drop in tourist arrivals in Jammu and Kashmir due to continuous curfew and shutdown in Kashmir valley, the Jammu Dry Fruit Retailers have suffered an aggregate Rs 1.5 crore loss.
There are around 78 business establishments dealing in dry fruits in Jammu district only.
"As sales of dry fruits have declined by about 70 percent, the retailers in Jammu have suffered an estimated Rs 1,52,00,000 loss in Jammu district in the last 56 days", Jyoti Gupta, President-Jammu Dry Fruit Retailers Association told Greater Kashmir.
Explaining, he said a dry fruit merchant, on an average in Jammu earns Rs 5,000 a day. "Multiply this figure by 78 business establishments, the amount comes to Rs 3,90,000 per day.
"Had situation remained normal in the last 56 days and tourists visited Jammu as usual, the dry fruit retailers would have earned an amount of Rs 2,18,40,000. But the sales have declined to Rs 65,52,000 leading to a loss of Rs.1,52,88,000".
According to Gupta, the tourists as well as pilgrims used to purchase dry fruits from Jammu City after visiting various pilgrim as well as tourist destinations of the region. "But since July this year, after trouble in Kashmir, there has been a steep decline in the number of tourists and pilgrims" he added.
Gupta said that with continuous tension in Kashmir, the tourists are also avoiding to visit Jammu.
"Most of them (Tourists) perceive Jammu and Kashmir as 'Kashmir' and after watching news about the tension in the valley, they defer visiting the tourist destinations of Jammu also", he said, adding, "Owing to this, most of the hotels are vacant in Jammu even as they are now offering heavy discounts. Similarly sale and purchase of other commodities has also been affected".
"The sale of dry fruits and other items had already decreased manifold in Jammu City after launch of direct train service to Katra Town. With this long spell of unrest, we are on the verge of starvation", Gupta added.