Srinagar, Dec 9: The number of domestic tourists who visited Kashmir from August to November this year fell 87% compared to the same period last year, The Times of India reported on Monday. The number was 32,411, as against 2.49 lakh during August-November 2018. The number of foreign tourists fell 82% during the four-month period – from 19,167 in 2018 to just 3,413 this year.
However, November was the best month since August, with 10,946 domestic and 1,140 foreign tourists visiting the Union Territory.
The drop in the number of tourists appears to be a consequence of the Centre’s decision to impose prohibitory orders after abrogating the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The decision was taken on August 5. Prohibitory orders are gradually being lifted.
On October 10, the Jammu and Kashmir administration lifted its advisory against tourists in the Valley. Postpaid mobile services have resumed in the Valley, but internet connectivity remains blocked.
In June and July, Kashmir received 1.62 lakh and 1.49 lakh domestic tourists. This was around 27% higher than the figures for June and July 2018.
Parvez Baba, the owner of Hotel Samci Riviera in Srinagar’s Rajbagh, told The Times of India that he has only four rooms out of 24 occupied this week. “My hotel is just three years old and I can’t afford to lose any business that comes my way,” he said. “If I charge Rs 4,000 per room, what chance do I have of getting a guest?”