Himachal Pradesh’s hotspots suffer as tourists turn to J&K : The Tribune India

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Himachal Pradesh’s hotspots suffer as tourists turn to J&K

Himachal Pradesh’s hotspots suffer as tourists turn to J&K

Palampur’s Saurabh Van Vihar wears a deserted look. FILE



Ravinder Sood

Palampur, May 19

With the Jammu and Kashmir circuit opening to domestic and foreign tourists, the tourism industry of the state has received a major setback.

Since the J&K government has given a number of incentives to hotels and transportation businesses, travel agencies in metropolises made bulk bookings for Kashmir this year, resulting in a sharp decline in the inflow of tourists to the state.

Despite tourist season being in full swing here, most tourist hotspots in the state seem to not be as lively as they used to in previous years.

The tourism industry has the potential to fill the coffers of the state since it is an important revenue earner and a good source of foreign exchange. Thanks to the apathy of successive governments, the state has failed to develop potential tourism hotspots. The government has also failed to extend municipal limits in most tourist spots.

The state government has, time and again, announced the provision of better amenities for tourists. However, nothing has been done in this regard.

“Corrupt” traffic police officials, lengthy traffic jams, costly hotels and poor parking facilities seem to welcome visitor to the state these days. Narrow and bumpy roads, high airfare, expensive food and fleecing of tourists by taxi operators also mar the image of this culturally rich state in the eyes of tourists.

Hotel tariffs in the state are a lot more than those in other states. As for transportation, the government has failed to meter taxis operating in the state. Time and again, the state government has claimed to be working on a “master plan” for tourism development. However, the plans and promises seem to remain confined to paper.

Historically significant and rich in flora and fauna, Himachal Pradesh has great potential for both domestic and international tourism. Unfortunately, the potential remains largely untapped as little has been done in in the last decade to make use of the same due to the “lack” of administrative and political will.

#Jammu #Kashmir #Palampur


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