zahoorThe question that galore around the recently appointed chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is whether she would be able to save the coming tourist season in Kashmir which was about to witness a boom this year. Mehbooba, who retained the portfolio of the tourism minister with herself, seemed to be caught in a difficult situation with the killing of five people during protests- taking the death toll to five in a week’s time alone in April.

       The hotel owners and those associated with the tourism business are facing a tough time with fear of losing the otherwise profitable year to the street protests and violent clashes. People associated with the tourism said they were hopeful of some god business that year after the catastrophic floods of 2014 that wrecked havoc across, leaving tourism’s reed in Kashmir broken. It could only be hoped that the situation gets better with time and the scenes that we witnessed in April aren’t seen again.

       If the similar situation continues in Valley it will drain plethora of money out of the state exchequer. The tourism department has already spent hefty amounts on travel marts, road shows and advertisements in various states in a bid to lure tourists to Jammu and Kashmir. It will be a total disaster if 2016 again proves fatal for the tourism here. There have been already many efforts done to rejuvenate the tourism sector after 2014 floods. No one would bear the loss that would be in the offing if the measures for pacification of the situation aren’t taken at an earliest.

Editor in Chief