As the tourism sector in Kashmir has been worst hit in the ongoing unrest, the hoteliers at famous health resort Sonamarg have closed their hotels early this year due to absence of tourists.
The local tourism traders here said that they get only a few months of business during summers as the destination remains closed during winters in view of the heavy snowfall in the area. They said that there was total decline in the tourist arrivals to Sonamarg during last three months. "Nobody is presently coming to Sonamarg," they said, adding that all the hotels are having zero occupancy which has forced them to close hotels early this year.
A hotelier said that there was a good business this year till July 8, many film crews shot their films in Sonamarg.
"We were having bookings up to ending November this year but after July 8 almost all of those were cancelled and almost all the hotels are left with zero occupancy," Farooq Ahmed Hafiz, president hoteliers club (Sonamarg chapter) and MD Snow Land Group of Hotels told Greater Kashmir.
He said that the hoteliers at Sonamarg usually close their hotels in last week of November however this year the hotels have been closed almost two months early.
A hotelier said that the hospitality sector here has resorted to job cuts to contain losses as the tourist inflow came down to zero in the wake of ongoing unrest in Kashmir. "During these three months we incurred huge losses," he added.