Friday, February 16, 2018

Skyrocketing airfares choking Tourism in Kashmir

Srinagar: Notwithstanding the tourism promotion drives by the Jammu and Kashmir government in different states of India, the unprecedented airfares are hitting the tourism industry in Valley. Empty Shikaras in Dal lake and a near-deserted view in world-famous Ski resort Gulmarg is reflecting the ground reality on how airfare to and from Srinagar has become unaffordable for tourists.
To boost the tourism where we see many significant decisions by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department like conducting of winter festival at summer destination Pahalgam, the state seems unaware of the fact that the air ticket prizes are becoming a major cause for the tourists to choose another place for outing.
The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department which is conducting several road shows, symposiums and seminars in different states of India aimed to boost the tourism sector in Kashmir which lost its sheen particularly after 2014 devastating floods following by the 2016 public uprising has yet failed to address the major issue of the unprecedented airfares particularly at a time of long intervals of road closing due to snowing which is considered main attraction of the tourists.
“I had a group of foreign tourists. First day their flight was cancelled due to Snowfall. Next day they were told to pay a fare of Rs. 25,000 each for a flight from Delhi to Srinagar. A ticket from Delhi to Dubai is much cheaper at Rs. 8,000,” said Hadi Ahmad, a Srinagar based travel agent.
15/02/18 Bilal Bashir Bhat/Only Kashmir