SRINAGAR : Provided there is a cessation of militant activity in Kashmir, hospitality industry and tour operators are hopeful of a surge in tourist footfall in the Valley. “We expect a good tourist flow in winter and for Christmas and New Year. We are keeping our fingers crossed,” said Vishwajeet Patil, country’s leading tour operator who manages Raja Rani Travels.
“Picturesque Kashmir has always been a holiday hit and its revival just needs a sense of calm,” said Patil, who was among the seven known travel agents from Maharashtra, who were invited by J&K government on a two-day tour to the Valley this week for an on the spot assessment. The travel agents interacted with Director Tourism Nisar Ahmad Wani, besides local tourism stakeholders and came away with the impression that normalcy will return.
All tourist bookings to the Valley were cancelled after the Centre abrogated Article 370 and asked outsiders to leave the Valley on August 2. Asked whether tour operators were receiving inquiries from tourists, Patil said, “The market is sluggish right now. Once normalcy is restored, we are confident of a good response,” he said.