Tourism in Kashmir is in real bad shape. This winter Jammu and Kashmir witnessed abundant snowfall however, the tourist arrivals were abysmally low compared to what the Valley witnessed during the earlier years.
Similarly, the situation is showing improvement as the spring season is approaching. No bookings are taking place and the response of tourists to this place has been quite dejecting.
In such a scenario the J&K tourism department is mulling to advertise state’s tourism destinations during the telecast of upcoming IPL 2019 from various sports channels.
Just yesterday Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai directed the tourism department to submit a proposal for showing small duration advertisements on the state tourism destinations and potentials on the sports channels during IPL 2019 matches. He was chairing a meeting of the department to review the functioning of tourism department and its preparedness for the upcoming tourist season.
The advisor enquired about preparations for the launch of publicity campaign by the tourism department to attract tourists to the state. He stressed on optimal utilisation of numerous formats of publicity in print and electronic media to highlight and promote major tourist spots of all the three divisions of the state.
Though the meeting discussed the upcoming tourist season and the promotional campaigns that are to be started, the officials missed a point.
Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, especially Kashmir valley is purely leisure in nature. Kashmir valley is no pilgrimage tourism destination but its natural beauty enthralls and attracts tourist from all over the world to come here and enjoy the serenity and real nature.
However, more that the turmoil and disturbed conditions, it is the local factors that are forcing tourists to stay away from this place. These factors are being discussed every now and then but no measures are being announced or taken to end the uncertainty the entire Industry faces.
Kashmir as a tourist destination is being plundered by the private airlines that operate here. During winters the airfares to this place were totally uncontrolled as the airfares touched 30k when the Jammu-Srinagar road remained closed for weeks together.
The situation is the same as of now, however, when the summer season peaks the air fares will once again come to haunt us and all those who dream to pay a visit to this place. The fares will once again be touching a new high which will be beyond the reach of a common man.
In such a scenario promoting Kashmir tourism through various promotional campaigns will be nothing more than a mere wastage of government’s resources. The government’s seriousness in getting this issue resolved would have reflected in the measures that it would have taken to get the travel issue sorted out.
This would have made some sense, rather than stressing on promoting Kashmir as a tourism destination.