'Kashmir has capacity to accommodate 50 lakh tourists'

Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, chairman Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club today dispelled the rumours about dearth of hotel rooms in Kashmir and said that the hotel industry in Kashmir can accommodate 50 lakh tourists.

Chaya was speaking at a joint press conference called by the Hoteliers and travel agents to welcome the holding of Khelo India winter games at Gulmarg.

The week-long event scheduled to be held from February 25 is coming at a time when the tourism sector is crawling back towards normalcy after facing back to back losses in 2019 and 2020. “This event will help us in a big way to shun the negativity which has clouded Kashmir’s tourism sector. We are thankful to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha who took personal interest in the promotion of Kashmir’s tourism. His administration and particularly the tourism department has been working hard to bring back tourists to Kashmir,” said Chaya.

Chaya was speaking at a joint press conference called by the Hoteliers and travel agents to welcome the holding of Khelo India winter games at Gulmarg.

While referring to Khelo India winter games as the “much needed initiative to promote Kashmir”, Chaya said “It is an honor for us that the government of India and LG administration have agreed upon holding winter games at Gulmarg which will give a boost to our tourism sector.”

Chaya was flanked by the president of Gulmarg hoteliers union and representatives of United Tourism and travel agents. He said that Kashmir’s hospitality sector has good infrastructure in place and has a capacity to accommodate 50 lakh tourists.

“There was a misconception created by some that this event will force cancellation of bookings of visitors which is not true. Infact we have enough accommodation, nobody will have to cancel booking due to this event,” he assured adding that “tourism players are always ready to facilitate hassle free vacation of our revered guests.”

Chaya on the occasion urged the LG administration to facilitate the upgradation and repairs of hotels in Kashmir particularly in Gulmarg and Pahalgam as it would help in providing the latest and best facilities to tourists.

President of Gulmarg Hoteliers Association, Mukhtar Ahmad said there is no dearth of hotel rooms at Gulmarg. “We urge tourists to visit Kashmir and enjoy our hospitality.”

Secretary General, JKHC, Tariq Rashid Ghani also lauded the LG administration for organizing this mega sports event which will not only promote Kashmir’s tourism but also give a chance to local sportsmen to showcase their talent at the national stage.