The summer looks uncertain for Kashmir tourism. After two years of peace in the valley, tension is rising over the hanging of terrorist Afzal Guru followed by the attack on the CRPF camp by the Pakistan sponsored terrorists.
There has been decline in bookings and tourists are cancelling their trips to Kashmir valley over rising fear of violence. However the tourism Minster of the state does not believe any such thing.
Recently he rubbish all claims of massive cancellations by the tourists. But tour operators and hotels in Srinagar have different story to tell. They believe that some impact has been made by the recent events.
According to the tour operators, the hanging of terrorist Afzal Guru has given ammunition to the separatists in the valley to carry out anti people activities. People need to realize that violent protests are only harmful for their own economy.
The ongoing crisis has cost Kashmir tourism around 2000 crores in the last couple of weeks. The efforts made by the state government to present Kashmir as safe place for the tourists are going down the drain.
However not everyone is so disappointed with the situation. Some believe that situation hasn't gone as bad as they thought after the hanging to terrorist Afzal Guru. The summer season has only begun and there is still enough time to recover the losses of past few days.
Kashmir may not be able to post 20 per cent and more growth in the summer but there is still a very good chance of tourism industry to do well in the summer season. However for that people will have to understand the motives behind the strike calls by Separatists.
Even state government is not shaken by the events of last few days. It continues to spend crores on the tourism infrastructure and believe that tourism industry will overcome the current crisis. But even a section of government has also let down by the turmoil in the valley.
Kashmir government has been urging European countries as well United States to lift the travel advisory for the valley. In past few months following Germany's decision to lift the advisory, Kashmir government upped the efforts to convince other countries to follow suit. But the latest developments will hamper the campaign lead by the state government.
tags: Kashmir Tourism, Afzal Guru, Tour Operators, Travel Advisory