Srinagar, Jan 1: Tourism Department is busy taking credit for tourists thronging Kashmir for celebrating Christmas and New Year but the people associated with the industry are of the opinion that guests returned to Kashmir due their personal efforts.
It’s in place to mention here that famous -resorts Gulmarg in north Kashmir, Phalgam in south Kashmir and many other places in the Valley remained packed for Christmas and New Year celebrations. The tourists arrived in the Valley in such huge numbers nearly after one and a half year.
A tour operator while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Soon after the guests started arriving in the Valley the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department started projecting it as its achievement. But the fact of the matter is that the department was sleeping when we were campaigning in different states to woo the tourists. We did succeed in our endeavour to a great extent. We hope that in coming days tourists footfall will increase.”
He said, “The Tourism Department did not play any role in getting the tourists back to the Valley. In fact, the department failed to help us when we were in dire straits. The Tourism Department turned a deaf ear towards our repeated requests to help us during the crisis time. We are trying to help ourselves and are hopeful that the tourism sector will get revived again and we will get a chance to put the derailed system back on the track.”
A travel agent said, “The Tourism Department rather than making tall claims should list the measures which it had taken for the revival of the tourism sector in the Valley. If they are asked to list their efforts they will have none as the officials of the department were in deep slumber.”
He said, “Many hotels and restaurants were left with no other option but to wind up their operations during the pandemic. Many famous names and brands downed their shutters. Tourism Industry which provides jobs to thousands of people in Kashmir was left to fend on its own during the times of crisis.”
A hotelier said, “We have not received any help from the Tourism Department to get the guests back. Many hoteliers like me have been convincing the agents and even the parties directly through internet and phone. We have been assuring them that Kashmir is safe. Our efforts are giving dividends. The Tourism Department should stop blowing the trumpet and needs to focus on the job that has been assigned to it. It’s taking credit for everything but everyone is aware of the fact that the department did nothing for the revival of this vital industry during the past one and a half year.”