State Affairs

Rescheduled Anantnag by-poll has tourism players worried

SRINAGAR: With government rescheduling the parliamentary by-polls for Anantnag, the tourism players believe it may prove detrimental to the summer when the tourist inflow to the valley usually increases.

In wake of the violence in the parliamentary by-poll in Srinagar constituency, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has postponed the election for volatile Anantnag to May.
The tourism players are unhappy with the decision, reports Kashmir Monitor.

“It will prove detrimental to the tourism season ahead, but who will listen to us?” Director Tourism, Mahmood A Shah, told The Kashmir Monitor, appealing the ECI to further delay the election till November.

“We have been spending months over tourism promotion and then such incidents occur, leading to huge losses to the sector. Exercises such as elections are avoidable and can be held when the atmosphere becomes conducive,” Shah added.

The tourism players claim that the sector was witnessing “no progress” for the past few years due to “unfavourable” conditions.

“We have seen floods and then the unrest last year. If similar conditions continue, the tourism industry, which is a source of income to lakhs of people, will vanish. The Chief Minister can use her good office to postpone it further for four to five months,” Ibrahim Siah, President Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK), told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said that the local travel agents and hoteliers have made investments to revive the tourism.

“Summers are considered as the peak season for tourism. Already, the stakeholders have been spending months together outside the state to convince tourists to visit the valley. The government and ECI shall consider these factors,” he added.

He said the government knew that tourism season is just ahead.

Prominent hotelier G M Dug the by-election in May might push the tourists to other destinations.

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