February 2021 News

In Parliament, GOI Admits Post Special Status Abrogation, Kashmir Witnesses Significant Tourist Decline

4 February 2021

Jammu: Union Government has admitted in Parliament that there has been a significant decline in tourist arrival in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. In response to the question put by Member of Parliament Elamaram Kareent, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Prahlad Singh Patel has revealed, 'Since, August, 5, 2019, the number of tourist arrivals in J&K declined. The impact was felt more severely in Kashmir valley than in the Jammu Division. However, the Tourist footfall in J&K is gradually increasing since last few months', Union Government has admitted. A total of 84,326 tourists visited In Kashmir Valley since 2019. In Jammu about 87,94,837 pilgrim and tourists visited. 1,00,931 tourists visited Ladakh UT. However Union Ministry of Tourism has not conducted any fontal study to assess the job losses of artisans and weavers, tour operators, House boat owners, tourist transport, Shikaras, Hotel and restaurant industry, tour guides and other allied sectors. In respect of handcraft sector, no noticeable job losses in J&K have happened since August 05,2019. The artisans engaged in different Handicrafts activities are continuing their job and the government is providing support through different schemes and steps. Union Ministry has said that steps are being taken to provide every possible assistance to artisans of J&K through various schemes of Central Government. As per the information received from J&K UT administration, the government released a stimulus package of Rs.5.6742 Crore as relief in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic for its disbursement among the tourism stakeholders. 'The amount of relief which has been disbursed among the stake holders is to the extent of Rs.1000 per beneficiary per rnonth for a period of three (03) months as per details-Shikara Wala's ( 4880), Pony Walla, (10571), Tourist Guides, (1313), Sledge-Dandi Walla, (2150.) The benefit has further been extended for a period of six months @ Rs.1000 per month and an amount of Rs.618.70 Lakh has recently been approved by the Government for further release to beneficiaries. In addition to the efforts of the UT Administrations, Ministry of Tourism is giving financial assistance to service providers in the UT of J&K and Ladakh approved by the Ministry of Tourism and UT Tourism Department for undertaking promotional activities including participation in international and domestic travel marts-fairs-exhibitions-road shows and undertaking online promotion-sales tours overseas to give boost to the tourism sector in the region