Srinagar: Following the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in India, tourism bookings in the valley have plummeted, with around 95 percent 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 the month of April.
According to the official figures available with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) the first 15 days of April has 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 told KNO 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 it’s opening Tulip Garden, witnessed a record footfall of around two lakh visitors, but spurt in Covid-19 positive cases in different parts of the country lead to the mass cancellations, and we don’t know how to react to this situation,” he told KNO.
A Prominent hotelier of the valley and chairman Hoteliers Association Mushtaq Chahya told KNO that the situation across the country is not good, as the Covid cases are coming in lakhs.
“Right now priority should be to save life. Economy can get a hit, but can be worked on, if people live,” Chahya 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, the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha ordered the closure of all paid parks.
“Due to the prevailing COVID situation in J&K, State Executive Committee, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under section 24 of Disaster Management Act, 2005, hereby orders that all paid public parks in the UT of J&K shall remain closed for visitors till further orders”