Tour Operators Support Zubin’s Concert

Tour Operators Support Zubin’s Concert

3 September 2013
Rising Kashmir
Junaid Kathju

Srinagar: While there has been a lot of opposition to Zubin Mehta’s musical concert in Srinagar on September 7, the tour operators have supported the concert saying it can help in reviving Kashmir’s tourism sector and State’s economy. “Since the news of Zubin Mehta’s musical concert appeared in media, we have received many enquiries from Americans regarding Kashmir,” owner of US-based travel agency Himalayan Tours Abdul Gaffar Tappa told Rising Kashmir. He said Zubin Mehta is a well known personality in US and has a huge following across the world. “His concert in Srinagar will definitely put the Kashmir into the world map of tourist destination. “So far I have sent the travelogue of Kashmir to nearly 5000 travel companies in America,” he said. Tappa said travel agencies in US are optimistic that if Zubin Mehta’s musical concert in Srinagar proves to be a success, then there will be a huge rush of Americans to Kashmir. He said Kashmir is an ideal place for foreigners to travel as it is cheap. “With Indian rupee continuously witnessing decline, more Western tourists may be lured to Kashmir”. Tappa said due to recent instances of sexual assaults on women in other states of India, 40% of American tourists have cancelled their visit to India. “Kashmir being a safe zone can attract more American tourists as compared to other states of India,” he said adding Zubin’s single performance in Kashmir can help in lifting travel advisories of at least dozens of countries. Muzaffar Andrabi, Chief Executive Officer of travel agency, Kashmir Caravans, who has been appointed official travel agent for the musical concert, said the show could prove a huge booster for tourism sector in Kashmir. He said the event will lead to revival not only of tourism sector but also give new lease of life to economy of the state. “The success of Zubin Mehta’s concert will definitely attract many foreigner tourists to Valley”. Andrabi said instead of picking negative aspects of the concert, Kashmir people and leaders should see the positive side of it. “So far Kashmir issue has only been confined between India and Pakistan but the musical event can give Kashmir issue a new dimension by letting people in the world know about Kashmir. Such events will give people of Kashmir an opportunity to talk to dignatories of European countries and brief them about culture, tradition and turmoil in Kashmir,” he said. Andrabi said if 10 people from Europe and other countries come to know about Kashmir conflict through the concert, it will be a success for them. The show will be aired live in many European countries. Both factions of Hurriyat Conference, separatist groups and civil society groups have opposed hoisting of Zubin Mehta’s concert in Srinagar on September 7. They said the concert should not have been organized as Kashmir is a disputed territory. Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani has called for shutdown on September 7 to protest against hoisting of musical show in Valley. The civil society is organizing a parallel cultural event “Haqeeqat-e Kashmir” (The Reality of Kashmir) on Saturday.