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Airfares go through the roof; panic grips tourism industry

March 23, 2024

Srinagar: Skyrocketing airfare has dealt a killer to the tourism industry of Kashmir.

With increased demand, airline companies have substantially raised their ticket prices, leaving passengers grappling with exorbitant costs.

From March 22 to April 10, the average fare for flights from Jammu to Delhi ranges from Rs 5,800 to Rs 7,500. However, with the onset of Holi, these prices skyrocket to between Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000, placing additional strain on travelers’ budgets. Similarly, flights from Jammu to Ahmedabad are now priced between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8,000, while those to Indore range from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000.

Comparing prices with February reveals a staggering increase of three to four thousand rupees, highlighting the significant impact of festival-related fare hikes on travelers. “With such sharp increases, the burden falls disproportionately on passengers, underscoring the need for regulatory intervention to ensure fair pricing practices in the aviation sector,” an aggrieved traveler from Srinagar said.

The impact of this fare surge is particularly being felt on busy circuits including Jammu to Srinagar and Delhi. Travelers have to shell out up to Rs 6,000 for a journey from Jammu to Srinagar, and up to Rs 8,000 for flights to Delhi.

Official figures reveal that Jammu and Kashmir hosted a record 2.11 crore tourists last year. Among the 2.11 crore tourists, nearly one crore were pilgrims tourists to the shrine of Vaishno Devi in the Trikuta Hills of Katra town in the Reasi district while over 4.5 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at Shri Amarnath cave shrine.

Over 55000 foreigners also visited Kashmir in 2023. Authorities have set a target of one lakh foreign arrivals in 2024. Around 2.7 million tourists visited Kashmir in 2022. In 2022, 4028 foreign tourists had visited Kashmir. (With KNO inputs)

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