Due to a number of factors the Tourism arrivals to Kashmir had been suffering a drastic fall. One of the main reasons has been the negative reporting by some electronic media channels. No doubt there have been and there are some sporadic incidents but these do not engulf the entire valley. Especially, there have been absolutely no incidents in the tourist places visited by tourists from within the country and abroad. Moreover, not a single tourist has been involved in any incident. Both the State Tourism Organisation and the Private Sector have been conducting promotional tours within India and abroad to promote tourism. These seem to have succeeded in convincing people that they can visit Kashmir without any problem. Over last few days the tourist arrivals from within the country and abroad have appreciably picked up.
A large number of arrivals have been reported by the Tourism Officials posted at Srinagar Airport. During last few days almost 100 foreign and few hundred domestic tourists have been arriving daily. However, the greatest promoter has been the Mother Nature. Kashmir is the coolest place in the entire sub-continent at the moment. Almost all the major metros in the entire sub-continent are reeling under a heat wave. The temperatures have been ranging from 40 to 50 degrees centigrade. Compared to this Srinagar is cool at 25 degrees centigrade. In fact, in some parts of the valley people are using blankets and hot water bottles, still! God Almighty has been very kind to give us a cool Ramadan! According to some international weather sites like the Accuweather.Com the temperatures even in June and July too may not shoot up very high and may remain below 30 degrees with in between showers. To support the Nature’s Initiative, we need to do two things. Firstly, the Department of Tourism has to invite Travel Media like the National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, and Travel Times and so on. It is the travel media which helps in convincing people about visiting a particular destination. In addition it is very useful to organize some important meetings, and events at international and national level, not necessarily connected with entertainment, to earn wide publicity. Finally, the Department has to interact with the Srinagar based media, both local as well as from outside as used to be done during the turmoil of nineties. The media is to be requested to give actual location of incidents giving also the distance from the capital city of Srinagar. This used to be done in nineties and helped a lot in convincing people that the entire valley is not on fire as reported by some electronic channels. Let us hope and pray that the Nature helps us in reviving Tourism to the fullest extent!