Srinagar: Unnerved by sudden tariff hike, the tourism department has put the hoteliers on notice, asking them to avoid overcharging and fleecing in a bid to instill confidence and attract more and more tourists to the valley.
“Tourism sector across the world in general and Kashmir valley, in particular, has suffered immensely during the last 18 months. At this juncture, it is imperative upon the hotelkeepers that they would come to the fore with concessional tariffs to attract more and more tourists to the valley,” said the notice issued by the director of tourism.
Director tourism said that such acts could affect the department’s promotional schedule to lure tourists to the valley.
“Any complaints of overcharging or abrupt price hike may jeopardize the coordinated promotional efforts by the department and trade associations for boosting the tourist activities and are sure to bring a bad name to the brand Kashmir,” the notice said.
Director tourism warned the erring hoteliers of strict action under J&K Registration of Tourist Trade Act over undue tariff hike.
“As per the provisions of J&K Registration of Tourist Trade Act 1978/2011, the tariff should be consciously displayed at the hotel premises. The tariff should be commensurate to the standard of the hotels, accommodation, and service and food facilities. Any complaint received in this manner shall be dealt with strictly and swiftly as per provisions under J&K Registration of Tourist Trade Act,” the notice said.
Official sources said the tourism department has received multiple complaints of an unwarranted hike by the hoteliers at Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Srinagar.
“For the last two weeks, we have received many complaints about the tariff hike by the hoteliers. We have warned against fleecing in order to make Kashmir trip affordable for tourists,” they said.
New Year has brought good omen for tourism in Kashmir with arrivals breaking the record in December.
Last month 13, 237 tourists visited the valley mostly to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Of whom as many as 6033 tourists stayed at Gulmarg. In fact, December 2020 constituted nearly 32 percent of total arrivals last year.
Last year, tourism had started picking up in January, but after authorities imposed Covid lockdown, the arrivals came to naught. Around 4863 visitors including 1071 foreigners had visited the valley in January last year.
Travel agents said January too is fully booked, while the queries for the upcoming months of February and March have surged.