Revival of tourism

According to the Lieutenant Governor, the G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting held in Srinagar earlier this year not only strengthened diplomatic ties, but also opened new avenues for global partnership that help in tapping the tourism potential of Jammu and Kashmir. Since the G20 event, he said, there has been an increase of 59% in foreign tourist arrivals in Kashmir Valley, as compared to the previous year.

So far this year, till July this year, 1.27 crore tourists have visited J&K and it is a record of sorts in the history of the tourism sector. Last year, a record 1.88 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir, as per the official figures.

Tourism contributes 7 percent to Jammu and Kashmir’s GDP.  The increased tourism influx is thus “significantly contributing to the growth of the economy and has a direct impact on the income of the common man.”

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 see a lasting tourism revival 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.

Earlier the government said over 300 movies were filmed in the Valley and that such “enthusiasm” was bringing about a qualitative change in the lives of local people.

The shooting of over 300 movies comes as J&K government’s film policy which was launched in 2021 to attract more investment into the film sector and make the region as the most popular film shooting destination.

In the past, no movie of Bollywood was complete without Kashmir and in the 60 and 70s, Bollywood became synonymous with Kashmir. Bollywood romance with Kashmir began with a movie like ‘Kashmir ki Kali’ which captured the picturesque landscape of Kashmir. The government needs to continuously encourage filmmakers to shoot in Jammu and Kashmir.

The administration needs to continue with tourism promotion and such endeavor must be continued, although with little more intensity.

While Tourism sector has been granted the status of industry, a new home-stay policy, film policy and established tented colonies are surely going to strengthen the economy and create new employment opportunities for the youth and the people associated with the hospitality sector.

 

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