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news details
Gulmarg, Phalgam witness deserted look
Uncertain situation hits Kashmir tourism
8/18/2018 11:15:27 PM
Asif Iqbal Naik
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Aug 18: Known for its picturesque and scenic beauty all over the world, the tourism sector in state of Jammu and Kashmir which is the backbone of around 70% people in the Kashmir valley is hitting new low this year with majority of the tourist spots wearing deserted look.
Speaking to Early Times tourism players attributed the debacle to growing uncertainty in situation in the valley as well as increase in number of militancy related incidents.
A hotel manager in tourist resort Gulmarg said hotel occupancy this year is very low as a result of which the hotel industry is suffering badly added that if situation continues, many employees working in various hotels in and around Gulmarg will start losing the jobs.
"Out of 55 rooms in the hotel-only 3-4 rooms are occupied by the tourist-we have 42 employees working in the hotel for which an amount of approximately Rs. 5.50 lacs is required to meet out their salaries" said the hotel manager. He said that similar is the condition with other hotels.
A dabawala inform that hardly few tourists visit the Gulmarg this year as compared to previous year.
"Even though the present season is not ripe for tourists in Gulmarg-but not to this low-it is really very alarming" said the Daba owner.
Amir Khan, a ski guide told the "Early Times" that everyone is concern about the situation in the valley added that if trends continue, the winter in Gulmarg will not be different to what we are witnessing today. He said that time has come for all of us to look at the root cause for the same.
Another tourist guide Zahoor Ahmed said that many like him are hoping for improvement in the situation so that tourist could start rushing to Gulmarg. He said that people associated with tourism industry are suffering badly and called upon the government to bail out the people associated with the business by offering a bail out financial package.
"Many people had availed loan facility for establishment of various business units-due to lean tourism season, they even fail to pay installment of their loans" said Zahoor Ahmed and called upon the government to wave off the loans and interest on it.
The Gandola ride at world highest altitude in Gulmarg also witnessed very as most of Gandola cabins were seen empty.
Similar is the condition with another valley's tourist resort Phalgam has a similar story to tell.
The employees of the renowned "Heevan" hotel said tourists are missing from Phalgam this year adding that most of the hotel in the tourist resort are empty.
"The rush we see at world famous "Betab Valley" or at "Aru Phalgam" is that of locals-the people normally come in the morning and return back in the evening and mostly on holidays, " said the local businessmen. They said that majority of the local visitors brought everything with them which hardly benefits their business.
"Why someone (Tourists) will come and visit to Kashmir by risking their lives-we are our self responsible for what we are facing today--- almost zero tourism" said a businessmen adding that time has come for the people to denounce the forces who want to destabilide peace and tranquility in the state.
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