Editorial

Adding more USP’s

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Tourism sector is faced with yet another dull season. This summer the expected growth in the sector failed to take off as certain incidents played down all the expected arrivals to a great extent.

The summer of 2018 was expected to be blissful for the sector as the tourism players as well as the tourism department had planned well in advance by organizing various activities to promote tourism to the hilt.

This year tourist sector had started on a healthy note. The arrivals had started picking up in the Kashmir Valley well in advance . Officials claimed that they have already received advance bookings and were also expecting a good increase in tourist footfall once the summer season starts.

Tourism has witnessed some major hiccups since 2016. The unrest in Kashmir during 2016 caused a dip in tourist arrivals by more than 50 percent and since then the trend has not been changing.

Though some improvement was witnessed in subsequent years but the overall picture is not that rosy as we may expect it to be.

It is arguably no good omen for the state that tourism sector continues to witness a decline. The people in the Valley are mostly dependent on tourism and once the Industry thrives so does our economy and the small trader who pins his hopes on the tourist arrivals.

In our state some cynics argue that tourism does not contribute more than 10 percent to our economy, but it is not figures alone that can be attributed to the tourism sector. Tourism is the only sellable commodity we can offer to the entire world. This sector is the major attraction that we can offer to the external world and can help us in promoting our other sectors like handicrafts.

Though some may argue that promotion of tourism is not yielding the desired dividends,  but this sector can help our economy to be self reliant within a short span of time. The government therefore should try to explore more and more places in the state to widen the tourism map and attract more people here.

Numerous places in the State continue to remain untapped for becoming attractive tourist spots. With gradual increase in the Gross Domestic product (GDP), variations of short term notwithstanding, standard of living improves and it has a large impact on everyone in the economy, higher salaries (wage revisions etc) and higher wages are paid and that in turn, leads to more spending on goods and services.

People tend to spend a part of incomes on leisure activities and tourism can witness a boom in the state if new dimensions are added to it. The state can provide some new destinations to the visitors who will feel attracted to the paradise called Kashmir.

With this background, Pir Panchal is a region that can be promoted as a tourist destination, rather a major tourist place. The region is best described as a treasure of heritage and adventure tourism. Those tourists who are interested in perusing history and heritage can find Pir Panchal Range as very interesting and attractive.

 

 

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