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J&K: Union Territory will soon be open for tourism

After COVID-19reaching every corner of India, the cases are decelerated and Government is trying to take life in usual road after the second wave. In order of which, Jammu and Kashmir’s tourism is soon going to be open. As thousands of families that rely on tourism and allied sectors have been out of work and struggling to stay afloat since 2019. Jammu and Kashmir, tourism authorities have chalked out a meticulous plan to woo back tourists to the valley.

As soon as the tourist arrivals to Kashmir started picking up in March this year, the first time since August 2019, the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic played spoilsport with advance bookings getting cancelled from mid-April.

As soon as the tourist arrivals to Kashmir started picking up in March this year, the first time since August 2019, the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic played spoilsport with advance bookings getting cancelled from mid-April.

Over 1,25,000 domestic and foreign tourists – the highest in more than 17 months – arrived in Kashmir in the first four months of 2021. However, after the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic peaked in the Valley in May, the numbers again dipped sharply. From a peak of 5,443 Covid cases on May 7, the number came down to 428 cases on June 22.

“The plan includes vaccinating priority groups and holding training sessions so that tourism stakeholders can adhere to safety protocols,” he said.

However, Hafeez said, there are already Covid guidelines and SOPs in place which everyone has to follow and 85% of the people associated with the tourism industry have been already vaccinated.

Thousands of families that rely on tourism and allied sectors have been out of work and struggling to stay afloat since 2019. The tourism sector is a significant contributor to Jammu and Kashmir’s economy and accounts for around seven per cent of the region’s gross domestic product, according to Jammu and Kashmir government’s estimates.

However, since late last year, the J&K government took several initiatives to bring tourists back which had started yielding positive results. The aggressive campaigning by the Tourism Department had also attracted several filmmakers to shoot their films here. The hotel bookings also went up in the first four months of 2021 with direct flight services to Srinagar from various cities like Ahmedabad and Bengaluru making travel to Kashmir easier. However, the second wave of Covid-19 cases across the country again played spoilsport with Kashmir tourism.

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