SRINAGAR: Kashmir and tourism are more often viewed as synonymous terms. Kashmir is rich with scenic natural beauty that has no other analogy in the world. It is rightly called ‘paradise on earth’.
This great scenic attribute has made Kashmir world famous for its tourism potential. Tourism industry is traditionally considered as the backbone of Kashmir`s economy. With the growth in tourism industry other related sectors like handicrafts, hotel industry, tour and travel agencies, retail trade market, and floriculture boost up. Thus, the overall economy grows. But this year tourism industry did not pick up due to turbulent situations and often upheaveals.
The past of tourism industry of Kashmir has been very magnificent. But due to the disturbance in the region for more than two and half decades now, the tourism industry has been badly hit , thereby giving a great setback to the economy. The businessmen associated with tourism trade also blame negative portrayal of Kashmir by National media as among prominent reasons of downslide.
Mudasir Muran, an eminent entrepreneur while talking to the Kashmir News Bureau stated – “ The tourism sector has not at all taken off this year due to continued uncertainty. The street protests coupled with heavy public unrest in 2008, 2010 , 2016 have adversely impacted the overall tourism growth. The reason for degrading of Kashmir’s tourism industry can`t be totally attributed to political instability, disturbance or security concerns. Rather the attitude of successive state Govts. Currently, the government indifference is marring our tourism sector badly. There are many issues like lack of facilities, promotion and developing excellent human resource that have been left unaddressed by the government. As a result we have suffered much economically .We are hopeful that in 2018 some concrete steps would be taken to improve the overall condition of tourism sector and if government does not take these steps and national media does not leave propagandistic portrayal of Kashmir we would see zero business in 2018.” (KNB)