60% houseboats, 70% hotels booked: Tour Operators

Srinagar: After a slight slump; people associated with the tourism business in Kashmir are upbeat as the flow of tourists has increased in the ensuing month and is expected to go further up during winter months.

With houseboats and hotels witnessing a close to 70 per cent booking, the tourism players hope for a mega winter tourism season in Kashmir. Tourism witnessed a slight slump in August month.

Muhammad Yaqoob Dunoo, spokesman Kashmir Houseboats Association said that this year there was a record breaking tourism season as in last two years people were unable to move out.

“With decline in Covid cases, people started visiting tourist spots and Kashmir being called Paradise on earth, tourists started visiting here and there was record breaking tourist footfall up to the end of June this year,” he said. “It is routine that footfall decreases in July and August, however, since last month the flow has once again started to increase.

He added that around 70 percent hotels are booked and besides that around 60 percent houseboats are also booked while we are expecting that number will increase further.

Manzoor Kundroo, Managing Director Great Himalayan Travels and Senior Member of Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK) said that tourism flow is good this month and they expect better winter tourism this year. “The department of Tourism along with other major travel trade bodies can play a vital role in bringing sufficient numbers of tourists to the valley by participating in upcoming Travel Trade Events which are going to be held in different parts of the country,” he said.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) president Sheikh Aashiq told KNO that as per the feedback of different bodies, there is a good flow of tourists in Kashmir presently and we are expecting that number to increase further in the coming time.

He said that they have brought this into the notice of the government that they must develop offbeat destinations and explore less known destinations and it will help in manifold increase of tourists’ arrival.

“We have requested them to increase adventurous activities as new generation is mostly interested in such things,” he said. (KNO)

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