For the last nearly three years, Kashmir has been looking forward to tourists. After the 14 February 2019 bombing along the Jammu-Srinagar highway near Lethpora Pulwama in February 2019, tourism has been in a freefall except for sometime this winter.
On 3 August 2019, the local government ordered all tourists and Amarnath pilgrims to leave. It pressed the official fleet to Srinagar airport and bus terminals to facilitate their exit from J&K. Before August 5, when the centre effectively annulled the special status of Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian constitution, and put the entire J&K under security and communication clampdown that saw even landline telephony snapped, the tourists and the pilgrims had emptied the Valley as also Jammu region.
Chances of any revival of the tourism industry were inflicted a crippling blow by the covid-19. However, lately, the covid-19 has been on decline and as they said, even a single good event can make a big difference and it can help to bring Kashmir back on the tourist map as the best destination. Kashmir has historically been an attraction for anyone who wants to relax, and enjoy. In the past, the stakeholders have not been able to promote the Kashmir Valley, its unique weather, mountain peaks, water bodies, vast fields and orchids, archeological sites, and cultural signposts. However, to at least see tourism back on rails in Jammu and Kashmir, both the local and central governments need to work in tandem and promote this part of the globe, known to be a paradise on the earth, as an all-season destination locally and internationally.
The administration has now been doing its best to push tourism recovery. In J&K budget 2021-2022, Rs 1,000 crore shall be taken up for development of tourism infrastructure. Officials said the budget
for tourism and culture was Rs 283 crore in 2020-2021 it is Rs 780 crore this financial year
In the same endeavor, Lieutenant Governor has rightly emphasized on providing a unique experience to tourists and increasing their footfall. He has ordered for preparing a comprehensive future plan for promoting the tourism sector in J&K, and identifying new, unexplored tourist spots. The plan needed to be formulated at an earliest and stakeholders should be involved in preparations for a better outcome. There is also a need to develop various tourist circuits while putting special focus on adventure tourism, trekking activities, pilgrimage sites, water sports and other popular ventures.
Also, there is a need for proper maintenance of tourism properties so that they remain in impeccable condition throughout the year.