Kashmir, described by poets and writers as ‘paradise on earth’, has always been close to India‘s heart. After Parliament revoked Article 370 of the Constitution on Monday, and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories – Jammu Kashmir (JK) and Ladakh – all eyes are on how the ground realities will shape up. While the paramilitary forces have been pressed into action in order to avoid any untoward incident, along with a digital blackout to curb fake news, ordinary citizens are waiting for life to return to normal.
Even as the Valley, which is on high-alert right now, limps back to normalcy, the travel industry is optimistic that the monumental decision will boost tourism and economy, and generate employment. Industry representatives, drawing a parallel to the Pulwama strike after which JK tourist footfall had seen an upward spike, believe that Kashmir will emerge stronger after the dust settles, and normalcy is restored in public life.
Nishant Pitti, Co-Founder CEO, EaseMyTrip –
an online travel company
“Abolishment of Article 370 is a historic development, and would definitely bring about a welcoming change for Indian travel and tourism industry.
Nishant Pitti said that Kashmir holds a lot of potential in terms of tourism and adventure sports.
“Kashmir is a unique destination and holds a lot of potential in terms of tourism and adventure sports. It will have a positive outcome over time as the situation stabilises more. Also, more tourists across the world will embrace this destination.
“Earlier some travellers had apprehensions regarding visiting the state, but with the recent development, this virtual barrier can be put to rest. With a rising hope that novel initiatives would be taken to elevate the current tourism graph to greater heights leading to better employment opportunities within the tourism and allied sectors.”
Dinesh Kumar Kotha, Co-Founder CEO, Confirmtkt –
a train booking and discovery app
Dinesh Kumar believes Kashmir will witness increased interest from global travel investors.
“The scrapping of Article 370 presents a massive opportunity for India’s travel and tourism sector. Although there will be a temporary turmoil at present, things will eventually settle down. Since outsiders will now be able to make real estate investments in JK, we are likely to witness increased interest from global travel investors. There will be a boost to both domestic and international travel, as long as there is overall infrastructural development of the state.”
Dharamveer Singh Chouhan, Co-Founder and CEO, Zostel –
a chain of backpacker hostels
Dharamveer Singh Chouhan hopes to see phenomenal growth of tourism in the coming months.
“Tourism might take a short-term hit in the area, but long-term growth will certainly put tour
ism on the correct path of establishing JK as truly the crowning glory of India. JK is an integral part of sovereign India, and travellers from across the world will get a chance to witness the beauty of Kashmir, and experience their culture. I am hoping to see a phenomenal growth of tourism in the months to come.”
Tanuj Ahuja, Founder, Aerospace Holidays Pvt Ltd –
a trip curator for Indian and international destinations
“Scrapping of Article 370 has comes as a blessing in disguise for JK tourism. In my 13 years of career, I have seen tourism increase drastically in all parts of India, but Kashmir never got its of cake despite being one of the most-beautiful destinations in the world.
Tanuj Ahuja is hopeful that scrapping Article 370 would do wonders for the Kashmir tourism.
“Word of mouth always plays an important role in tourism. There is a saying in the tourism industry that ‘one good tourist brings 10 more tourists’, but it never happened with Kashmir. Kashmir has always been surrounded by negative publicity, and news about terrorism or lack of law order always forced tourists to look at other destinations.
“I am hopeful that this revocation would do wonders for Kashmir tourism. The government will ensure the best safety to the Union Territory’s people and tourists. Famous hotels, chain of restaurants, malls, luxury brands will make massive investments in the Valley. With money comes prosperity and stability, which Kashmir has always been deprived off since Independence.”
Kritagya Tripathi, COO Co-Founder, Shoes on Loose –
experiential travel companies that provides end-to-end solutions in travel destination
“Kashmir has withstood a lot of turmoil, and emerged stronger every time. Post- Pulwama too, tourist footfall increased gradually, and a good number of travellers visited Kashmir during the summer. The tourism sector is at an all-time low in Kashmir because of the current situation. But once the dust settles, direct investment in the tourism and hospitality sector will increase, which will further give a push to employment, and boost economy. The government is also taking measures to improve the state of tourism. It might sound unconventional, but I am optimistic about the future of tourism in Kashmir. Although it’s going to take time to recover, it’s only possible if peace is maintained within the state”.
Kritagya Tripathi is optimistic about the future of tourism in Kashmir.
“The government is also taking measures to improve the state of tourism. It might sound unconventional, but I am optimistic about the future of tourism in Kashmir. Although it’s going to take time to recover, it’s only possible if peace is maintained within the state”.