If the current government plays its cards right, Kashmir can become a thriving center of economy, culture, and industry. Majority of the tourists coming to India are looking for a cultural experience, then why not experience Kashmir’s unique culture and warm hospitality?
Kashmir is well known for its majestic natural picturesque – gorging valleys, mountains, lakes, rivers and rolling hills. Forget about the political crisis for a moment, this state is truly a piece of heaven on earth. Its Switzerland like winter and landscapes make it one of the preferred destinations for domestic tourists from Kolkata and South India. Even foreign tourists come from as far as Australia and Egypt to take advantage of Gulmarg and Sonamarg’s snow-covered caps. Tourists love Kashmiri cuisine, mouth-watering wazwan, kebabs, and biryani and refreshing kehwa. As a memento, they take back handicrafts and dry fruits and nuts and pashmina shawls. Some hoteliers even take tourists to families who invite them to experience Kashmiri lifestyle.
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Everyone wants to visit and explore Kashmir but they change their plans due to the political crisis. With news of militants and guerrilla attacks making it to the headlines of nearly every media, countries end up advising their citizens visiting Asia against traveling to Kashmir. This affects Kashmir’s tourism and economy. Tourist operators are refreshing their calls again and again that it’s safe to travel to Kashmir. Kashmir’s media also has the responsibility of positive reportage to uplift the economy. This is also the responsibility of every citizen of Kashmir.
In the southern hemisphere, Fiji Islands experienced a downfall in its economy in the past ten years because of negative media reportage, locally as well as internationally. Fiji has a coup culture. Whenever the island nation went through general elections; either the military or civilians toppled the elected government. Even when, the atmosphere was not hostile, negative media reportage turned the tourists away. And tourism is the economy’s backbone. When the industry suffered, the innocent citizens suffered. This is what’s happening in Kashmir.
If the citizens, tourism operators, and the tourism industry work together with the government and its stakeholders, there is no stopping in Kashmir become the cultural and tourism hotspot in Asia.