SRINAGAR — Following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, tourism bookings in Kashmir have plummeted, with around 95 per cent of tourists cancelling their trips.
Officials in the tourism department estimate that the number of tourists has considerably gone down with only 32,594 tourists visiting the valley in April.
As per official figures, the first 15 days of April recorded around 25,956 tourists in the valley while as in the last 15 days of the month, the numbers dipped to around 6,638.
Manzoor Pakthoon, dealing with the tourism trade, said that they had full bookings and were sold out till May end but the recent spike has come like a shocker for them.
“After the promotional program in different parts of the country, the first twenty days after the opening of Tulip Garden witnessed a record footfall of around two lakh visitors, but spurt in COVID-19 positive cases lead to mass cancellations. We don’t know how to react to this situation,” he said.
Prominent hotelier and Chairman Hoteliers Association Mushtaq Chaya said that the situation across India is not good as the fresh COVID-19 cases are reported in lakhs.
“Right now, priority should be to save lives. Economy can get a hit but can be worked on if people live,” Chaya said.
In April, a high-level delegation of top officials from the Ministry of Tourism, which also included the delegates from Kenya, Vietnam and Georgia, visited the valley under the theme of “TAPPING THE POTENTIAL OF KASHMIR, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE”.
However, in a recent order, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha ordered the closure of all paid parks after the situation worsened. (KNO)