Border Tourism in Kashmir Valley

It is not possible for the government to provide a job to every individual, but it is possible to guide the youth to invest in tourism sector
"The introduction  of new places  on tourism  map has created endless  opportunities  for the people to earn their livelihood."
"The introduction of new places on tourism map has created endless opportunities for the people to earn their livelihood."Special arrangement

With every passing day tourism is becoming an important economic activity  in Kashmir. Last year more than one crore tourists visited the valley.

It seems that  tourism industry is going to be  one of our biggest economic activities in future.  

A lot of people from different parts of country and world  travel to different  destinations in Kashmir valley. Thousands of people  from different  parts of the country  visited  border areas of Kashmir  also.

Recently  government  of India  has brought  several  border areas on tourism map which include Keran, Machil, Tangdhar, Teetwal, Gurez, Bangus Valley and other places.

The introduction  of new places  on tourism  map has created endless  opportunities  for the people to earn their livelihood.

Tourists have started visiting  the border area. Bangus valley situated in North Kashmir’s Kupwara  district has a huge potential to provide diverse opportunities   to the youth  of Kashmir during  winters as well in summers.

It is believed by experts that  alone in District Kupwara place like Bangus Valley, Keran, Lolab Valley, Machil, Teetwal, Tangdhar and Reshwari Mawar  bear the potential  to provide  jobs to the unemployed  youth of entire North Kashmir.

Similarly  Gurez Valley if developed in a required  way, it can open employment  avenues for  people of whole  Gurez  Valley and people from other  areas can also be absorbed  in various  tourism related activities in case government  develops an appropriate  infrastructure  for the uplift of tourism sector  there.

Kashmir is blessed with immense  natural beauty. We have  mountains and pristine lakes,  rivers and forests  that attract  tourists. Every part of Kashmir Valley  is full with opportunities  and employment  scope  but it needs a big push from the government.

According to Economic Survey 2019-20 report, service sector particularly tourism has proved  as the huge contributor to the State Gross Development Product. In J&K service sector’s contribution to SGDP is more than 58 per cent; it is because of  tourism.

People  can invest in tourism industry for great profit as it can provide opportunities to invest in building of hotels, restaurants and other related infrastructure at newly introduced tourist places like Gurez, Bangus Valley, Machil, Keran, Teetwal, Tangdhar, Uri, Lolab, Doodpathri, Tulail and other  areas. A great  potential is there to yield great profits as millions of tourists will definitely visit these places if the accommodation issues and other related requirements are made available to the tourists.

In Kashmir Valley sports activities remain  suspend during winters but it is important that sports activities should not be stopped during  winters in Kashmir.

There is a need to introduce winter sports in these newly introduced tourist destinations so that these areas remain always relevant.  Few days back winter carnival was conducted in  Drangyari Chowkibal by the district administration Kupwara which experienced huge tourist  rush.

The move was seen as a latest push by the district administration to increase the footprint of the tourists. It proved  a successful experiment.

District Kupwara, the most scenic destinations has fallen behind on the tourist map but efforts have been initiated to introduce it as a wonderful tourist destinations having diverse tourism potential.

In order to promote the area  as a winter sports hub activities such as snow mobile, ice-skating, trekking expeditions and various other  snow sports activities were held during Drangyari Winter Carnival. On similar  ways, much more carnivals are required to be conducted in every  border area of Kashmir  valley.

The government of Jammu and Kashmir should support the investment in tourism sector and it needs to persuade Multinational National Companies to invest in this sector. People of Kashmir are in need of  a helping hand at the initial stage of any tourism business.

To promote tourism in border areas of Kashmir, government should conduct adventure sports activities in summers  as well during  winter period. 

Just few months before, in 2022, the Indian Army’s Eastern Command  announced a series of adventure sports activities on Indo-China border  areas. 

The adventure activities were  planned over 78 days. Cycling, trekking and rafting were conducted. On a similar  pattern  government  should  conduct  such activities  in border  areas of Kashmir on a massive  scale.

Winter Olympic Games constitute major international multi-sport event conducted during snow season. After every four years winter olympics take place.

Athletes from India also  participate in these events. Kashmir  valley  has a huge potential  to host Winter Sports Olympics but unfortunately we still lag behind in creating such an infrastructure. 

Need of the hour is to prepare  infrastructure in the valley  required for winter  Olympics in future.  Kashmir  valley  bears the qualities where these sports like Bobsleigh, Curling, Ice Hockey, and Skiing can be conducted. 

Among the total population of  Jammu  and Kashmir  69 per cent comprises the youth. 

Considering  this fact, it is very  important  that young  population is taken care of and every effort  put in operation to make a reach out to the young population of Jammu and  Kashmir.  Their every legitimate demand related to jobs should  be met with out  any further  delay.

True, it is not possible for the government  to provide  a government  job to every  individual  but it is possible  definitely  that government  can guide the youth and provide  them assistance to invest in tourism  sector.

Thousands of unemployed  youth  can be absorbed in tourism  sector. Kashmir has a vast adventure sports tourism potential. Government should immediately introduce  adventure  sports activities  in all the newly introduced tourist destination.

Kashmir is suitable  for White Water Rafting. Our  rivers can be used for Wild Water Rafting, Parasailing, Swimming, Angling, and Canoeing. In Land Adventure Sports these places are perfect for Mountaineering, Skiing, Ice Skating, Snowboarding Trekking. Gee Jumps, Mountain Cycling, Jeep Safaris and Cave Exploration. These adventure activities can be conducted  during winters and summers.

Kashmir is not only about natural beauty  but it has unparalleled potential to be  the best adventure sports destination which itself can bring transformation  among its young  population; only if tourism sector is taken  as a  priority and people  are persuaded towards  this sector.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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