Slump Finally Ends, Tourism On The Rise In Kashmir

Srinagar: After a massive slump due to the unrest last year, Kashmir's long drought of tourists is finally ending. As temperature rises in the rest of the country, tourists are returning to the paradise on Earth to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the cool weather of the Valley.

"We found this place very nice, very beautiful, very calm, people are very helpful and good, we had heard that there is a lot of disturbance, but there is nothing like that, nowhere," said Mohini, a tourist from Delhi.

Two lakh tourists have visited Kashmir so far this year. Last year, till July, the Valley saw 11 lakh tourists, but that number came down to just one lakh in the next five months. The massive fall in numbers was due to the unrest in which over 90 people were killed and thousands injured.

"We earned nothing last year, we passed the season staying idle, like we do in the winters, and this year? This year thanks to God, we are having a good season," said Mohammad Altaf, a tourist photographer.

A group of 40 tourists from Maharashtra booked their Kashmir trip two months ago but despite a spike in violence during the last month, they decided to go ahead.

"We have come here as tourists, other tourists should also visit Kashmir, there is nothing to fear," said Neelima Bagawat, a tourist from Maharashtra.

Tourism suffered a big blow due to the unrest last year, but this year despite occasional flashes of violence, tourists are coming in large numbers to enjoy the cool weather and beautiful sceneries of the valley.
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