January 2017 News

In 2016, Kashmir Witnesses 55% Downslide In Tourist Arrivals

14 January 2017
Greater Kashmir
Mukeet Akmali

Jammu: Unrest in Kashmir caused dip in tourist arrivals by over 55 percent with only 4, 03,442 tourists visiting Kashmir during 2016, an official says. The Economic Survey tabled in Legislative Assembly in the ongoing Budget Session reports that during 2016, only 4, 03,442 tourists, including foreign as well as domestic, visited Kashmir. The number of tourist arrival is 55 percent lesser than the corresponding year 2015 which witnessed 9, 17,815 tourist arrivals. 'During 2016, the number of visitors, who arrived in the Valley stood at 6,23,932 including 2,20,490 Amarnath yatris,' the report reads adding that tourist season had started during 2016 in April and was in full swing up to end of July 7, 2016. 'The remaining about 4 months (24 days of July, August, September and October) remained completely tense and registered closure of all activities due to turmoil resulting in almost zero arrival of tourists in the Valley,' it adds. The report states that the disappearance of tourists during 4 peak months resulted in loss of business to hoteliers, restaurants, houseboats, poniwallas, transporters, shikarawalla and so on. The report further mentioned that unrest caused revenue losses to the government in tourism sector during the unrest. In the second quarter of 2016-17 revenue in tourism sector was 80 percent less (Rs 7.5 crore) compared to revenue realization in the second quarter of 2015-16 . 'Roughly hartals engulfed the whole season for more than 5 months upto now. The continuous hartals, stone throwing and curfews have resulted in loss of tourist season (July ,2016 to October 2016), loss of working season , about 116 day out of total work season of 180 days (May to October) in 2016.Thus about 64 percent of the tourist and working season has been lost,' reads the report.