Tapping winter tourism could help in generating some jobs
Eight weeks after the floods, the economic activity in Kashmir is yet to pick up. Once bustling commercial hub, the centuries old capital city of Srinagar after floods is presenting a gloomy look. Causing losses to the tune of over one hundred thousand Crores with 2.5 times cascading effects the floods have taken a heavy toll on the state economy. Putting the state economy back on track, undoubtedly, is a herculean task, but for the sluggish approach of the administration and lots of politicking between Srinagar and New Delhi not even a humble beginning has been so far made. It has been share faith and resilience of the people that has kept them going with all their economic deprivations and sufferings. Disappointingly, the state administration after getting sucked into the election process has not even been attending the routine flood related administrative matters and has even stopped on going works. Instead, of generating some people friendly economic activity the administration has been intriguingly creating hurdles in the relief and rehabilitation work undertaken by some political and non-governmental organizations. It is high time for the establishment to come out of tired mind-set and work for generating activities that could help in restoring the state economy to an extent. As rightly pointed out by some tourism players to the chief secretary during their meeting with him, tapping winter tourism could help in generating some jobs and reviving the state economy state economy to an extent. Immediately, after the floods autumn season of mellow fruitful and enchanting beauty of crimson foliage had opened an opportunity to the tourism department to revive the lost tourist season but for its lethargy it failed to bring any tourism to the state. The winters have opened yet another opportunity to the administration to give a push to the sinking state economy by tapping international and domestic winter tourism. The winter tourism in Kashmir is almost as old as in Switzerland. But we have failed to market it the way it should have been. Instead of focussing, just on skiing slopes of the Gulmarg the tourism department should also work for introducing other forms winter sports. As was rightly pointed out by a delegation headed by the chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club to the chief secretary the government should start vigorous publicity campaign for promoting winter tourism.