As the arrival of tourists has started picking up in Kashmir, the airfares have once again started skyrocketing. People associated with the tourism industry are scratching their heads and are running short of ideas about how to motivate people to travel to Kashmir for a holiday.
According to the media reports the airfare between Srinagar and Delhi is between Rs 15000/ to Rs 18000/ and the airline companies are citing the increase in demand of the air tickets as the main reason for the airfares going up.Due to steep hike in airfares tourists prefer to visit Himachal Pradesh or Uttrakhand. As the temperatures are increasing across the country people are visiting cooler places for a change. For most tourists Kashmir is the preferred destination but they opt for some other holiday destination due to travel expenses being high.Another factor which is hampering the arrival of tourists into the Valley is the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway being unpredictable. The expansion work of the highway between Ramban and Banihal has made it landslide prone area. Had the highway been predictable there was every possibility about all the hotels and guest houses in the Valley being full by now.The unfortunate part is that the state government despite approaching the civil aviation ministry has not been able to do much to regulate the airfares in Srinagar-Delhi sector.If the airfares keep on shooting up and weather remains inclement then Kashmir is likely to witness another gloomy tourist season. Many people believe that Jammu-Srinagar National Highway holds the key once it becomes an all weather road many issues would get resolved. The state government needs to direct the concerned agencies to expedite the work on the highway and it also needs to put in all the efforts to turn Mughal Road into an alternate highway to Kashmir.