Senior CPI(M) leader and former legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday said that the tourism industry in Kashmir has come to an almost complete standstill and the slump is affecting the livelihood of a sizeable section of the population.
“Houseboats are empty, taxi drivers and shikara owners are idle with no business on the horizon,” Tarigami said in a statement.
“Tourism sector in Kashmir is going through its worst crisis with many hotels closing down, staff being laid off and players in the industry looking for alternative businesses or even job opportunities. Businesses linked with tourism, including handicrafts, restaurants and transporters, are also facing a financial crisis. People, who are associated with tourism, are facing difficulties to feed their families,” Tarigami said.
He added that the atmosphere of panic has been created by TV channels who are portraying Kashmir in a negative manner.
“The electronic media’s coverage of the developments were damaging the tourism industry. The continuous negative coverage, especially of violence, which is not the overwhelming reality in Kashmir, has stalled tourist inflow to Kashmir,” said Tarigami in a statement.