Srinagar Oct 29: After suffering huge losses since abrogation of Article 370 by centre in August last year, a ray of hope has arisen among tourism players in Kashmir as tourists have started returning to the Valley.
Mohammad Ali, a resident of Mumbai, came along with his wife and two children to Kashmir last week.
“We have been here for last one week and roamed around Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Mughal Gardens, Pari Mahal, Dal Lake. We did not face any problem here. We are again planning to visit either in December or January to see snow,” Ali said.
Tour operator of Kashmir, Rouf Tramboo, said tourists have started coming to the valley.
“It is a very positive sign that tourists are coming to the valley. There has been a good response from tourists, who have shown willingness to visit Kashmir,” he said.
On Tuesday, Tramboo also see-off a group of tourists from Kolkatta, West Bengal for trekking to Kolahai in the valley.
“It was a pleasure to see off a group of trekkers from West Bengal,” he said.
Tourism sector has been badly hit since August 5 last year due to restrictions imposed by the government after Delhi abrogated Article 370 and then COVID-19 lockdown.
As per figures of tourism department, 43000 tourists visited Kashmir between August and December last year. While in 2020, only 19,000 tourists visited Kashmir till September this year.
Bashir Ahmad, a hotelier said tourists are visiting Kashmir for the last few weeks and mostly visit Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Mughal Gardens and Dal Lake.
“Tourists have also started bookings for winter months when Kashmir receives snowfall,” he said.
Director Tourism, Kashmir, Nisar Wani said there has been a positive response from tourists in the last few weeks.
“We are receiving positive feedback from different states and many people want to visit the valley especially during winters,” he added. (KINS)