Relieving the stress
No visual pain us more that the pictures that depict or show various picnic spots across Kashmir valley depicting a scene of desolation and gloom. These pictures come to us if by any chance any traveler, mostly locals make it to these places during these times of the pandemic and then forward the pictures to us.
The situation at these picnic spots which would have otherwise witnessed a jam-packed scenario reflects the sorry state of affairs the tourism sector is in Kashmir valley. The sector has been witnessing deep stress since the past few years now and the last two years have been the worse phase.
Since the greater part of the tourism season in Kashmir valley is almost over and the Covid-19 pandemic has ensured that no tourist visits the place this season, the sector has already crossed all the limits loses, both in terms of jobs and revenue.
Tourism sector which provides jobs to lakhs of Kashmir’s youth for the entire season has been witnessing severe loses since July 2019. The bad phase for the Industry started last year during in July all sorts of rumors left the entire Kashmir valley on the edge.
Tourism was the first sector to bear the brunt s most of the tourists fled the place. Later government itself issued advisories asking tourists and Amarnath pilgrims to leave Kashmir Valley.
Since then the Industry has witnessed a virtual closure with people associated with this trade facing huge loses and an uncertain future. The situation has turned much critical with the advent of Covid-19 as no tourist arrivals will be witnessed this year. The pandemic situation has brought with it a soaring level of uncertainty and fears among the tourism players.
Most of the tourism players believe that the situation that is reflected worldwide will also have a long term bearing for the local players as well. The possibilities of opening of hotels, restaurants and other tourist places seem a distant dream. The situation that is emerging presently indicates that the Industry will have to bear with loses and strain for some more time.
Ironically, the sufferings that the Industry particularly in Jammu and Kashmir is going through, is not being observed by those who could have intervened. The government it seems is looking the other way round. The Industry that is considered as the backbone of our economy has not been offered any plan that will help the tourism players in Jammu and Kashmir to sail through the worst crisis they have witnessed over the years.
The tourism Industry in not only vital and critical for ensuring growth and sustenance of other sectors of the economy but its sustenance is a key to the very survival of the region as a whole.
We only have tourism to sell to the outside world and if the industry gets trapped in the morass of debt and loses then its revival will prove to be a herculean task.
The present government should immediately devise a plan which includes forming a task force to not only seek the revival of the industry but also help it sustain the grey patch that it is going through right now. Tourism and its allied sectors need help from all quarters and the government too cannot escape from this responsibility.