The tourism industry in Kashmir has been utterly destroyed as a result of Covid’s second wave and shutdown. However, now that the cases have been settled, the industry is slowly reopening, and tourist arrivals have begun, with stakeholders hoping a good summer season.
With the government allowing all hill stations to open, including Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonmarg, and ensuring that all covid protocols are followed, hotels and houseboats around the Dal Lake are also opening. Tourists were observed sailing shikara around the lake and taking advantage of the lovely weather.
The tourist agency, in collaboration with other stakeholders, is offering significant discounts to visitors to Kashmir. The cost of some hotels have been slashed by 50%.
“Overall, it was a wonderful experience. The main districts are still under lockdown because we’ve been here for 10 days. Srinagar is slowly opening up, but the gardens have yet to open. Apart from that, Pahalgam and Gulmarg are open; the gondola is closed, but there aren’t many covid cases here. The lockdown has had an impact on business over the last year, and we’ve had a lot of good transactions as a result. “Everything was closed, therefore five star hotels are giving 50% off,” said Rounak, a tourist from Mumbai from WION.
Many tourists in the valley have asked the government to open all of the valley’s gardens so that visitors can appreciate the natural beauty.” It was a wonderful experience, although the tulips and Shalimar gardens are still closed. If people begin to arrive, I am confident that they will open everything. And we’ve noted that there aren’t many covid cases, so I believe the government should open the location right now,” Forum R, a visitor, remarked.
All visitors arriving in the valley are required to present their vaccination certificates as well as COVID-19 test results. Tourists have also been asked to make sure that they follow all the Covid protocol.
“We started our journey from Rajasthan to get here in Covid.” We received our RT-PCR and antigen tests, as well as all necessary permissions and E-passes. It’s been a fantastic experience so far, and we’re quite excited. People are friendly. It’s going in the right direction, and cases are decreasing, and everyone is getting back to work, which is crucial,” said Manoj Kumar, another traveller.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Kashmir, and the government is gradually reopening regions that were previously closed due to the lockdown.
”We started from Jaipur from 12,, travelled through Leh, and eventually arrived here. Cases are being dropped, and things should be opening up for tourists; the experience was fantastic. We don’t think there’s any risk, and we’ve followed all of the Covid guidelines. It was a fantastic experience. People rely on companies, so it’s critical to open them all,” said Sarvind Yadav.
The lifting of restrictions in the valley has put a smile on the tourism industry’s faces. They expect an increase of arrivals in the following days. Stakeholders, on the other hand, are urging travellers to get vaccinated and have their blood tested before travelling.
“By God’s grace, things are improving, but we still need to win the pandemic war.” We encourage tourists to visit once they have been vaccinated; we will not allow them to ride in shikara unless they have been vaccinated. We inspect the certificates first, then distribute them. We got vaccinated as well. Tourists should visit, and we expect them to do so. Abdul Razak, a shikara owner, stated, “We have to keep our distance, wash ourselves, and make sure we follow all covid precautions.”
With the drop of covid cases in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the tourism industry is now opening its doors to travellers, and they expect a revival of tourism in the Kashmir valley within the next few weeks.
From Some News Agency