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Tourist arrival plummets to dreadful level, admin busy in system reboot
Will Govt succeed in luring back tourists to picturesque JK?
12/6/2019 11:04:26 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Dec 6: Luring the tourists back to the picturesque Jammu and Kashmir is not going to be a cake walk in any way for the administration of the erstwhile state. The proposal looks forested with huge risks and less rewards.
This week, the government reiterated that a string of measures have been taken to boost Tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir."We have also roped in major tourism players in other parts of the country to facilitate the tourists craving to enjoy the captivating natural beauty of Jammu and Kashmir" he added.
Terming the tourism sector as the mainstay of JK's economy, Advisor Sharma said that our focus is on the promotion of potential tourist spots on a sustainable basis. He said that the promotional activities will be further intensified across the country so that tourism here gets the requisite boost.
However, the situation on ground doesn't seem as exciting as is being projected to be.
According to the figures, there has been a dip of 53 percent in the tourist footfall as compared to that of the previous years. Earlier, total of 67181 tourists visited valley in April 2017. Last year, the number during this period was 142761. The government figures reveal that 403442 tourists visited valley in the first four months of 2016 (till April 31) as compared to 181102 during the corresponding period this year, marking a sharp dip of 56 percent. The tourist footfall was even higher (290154) in April 2015 notwithstanding the fact that the valley had witnessed devastating floods a few months back.
The state government, as per official records, has spent Rupees four crore over its promotional campaigning during the past two years. The department has spent Rs 3.86 crore on advertisements in Indian and international media, including newspapers, magazines, and travel journals, to promote the state's tourism sector.
As per the report compiled by the Indian Journal of Economics and Development in the year 2016, there are at present 4 lac, 25 thousand people directly dependent upon tourism in Kashmir. They include owners and employees at local hotels, houseboats, guest houses, restau­rant dormitories, dak-bungalows, holiday inns and tent housesdirectly associated with the tourism business in Kashmir.
Further, there are 21 lac people who are indirectly dependent on Kashmir's tourism. They include pony-keepers, taxi drivers shikarawalas, helpers, tourist guides, shopkeepers, vendors, and fruit sellers In total an estimated number of 25 people are in Kashmir whose livelihood is directly and indirectly dependent on tourist flow in Kashmir.
Handicrafts sector have a strong base for employment generation in Kashmir. There is a large number of Kashmir's population dependent on this sector. As per the government records, there are 507372 establishments in the state and there are 1084295 artisans throughout the state consisting of 594090 (55%) hired and 490205 (45.21%) not hired workers. The male workers are 81.34% and the female workers are 18.66% in the state. It includes Carpets, Woolen shawls and Paper Machie which are mostly sold to the tourists who come to Kashmir. It provides employment to 58 percent of population in Kashmir both directly and indirectly.
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