Kashmir recorded 87 per cent decline in domestic tourist footfall to a mere over 32,000 from 24.9 lakh between August and November in 2019.
In the case of foreign tourist arrivals, the footfall dropped by 82 per cent. According to The Times Of India report, November saw the best figures in terms of domestic figures. There were 10,946 domestic tourists, and 1,140 foreign tourists in the recent state turned Union territories. November saw almost twice the footfall in comparison to Septemeber.
For the tour operators, however, that is hardly a matter to rejoice. For instance, Parvez Baba, the owner of a hotel in Srinagar’s Rajbagh area, said that only four of the 24 rooms available at his hotel have been occupied this week, at half the normal rates.
He said that his hotel is three years old and that he cannot incur a loss. He said that if he charges ₹4,000 a room, then nobody will take a room.
As per the report in June and July, around 1.62 lakh and 1.49 lakh tourist visited the Vally – a 27 per cent rise than the same period in 2018. It is reported that the July number could have been higher had the government not curtailed the Amarnath Yatra.
One of the foreign tourists told that since there was no internet connection in the valley, they had to cut short their visit, as they were unable to contact their family. After the abrogation of article 370, the internet services were one among other services that were suspended.
Habibullah Wangnoo, the owner of Wangnoo Sheraton Houseboats, told the newspaper that he had hosted around 250 tourists between August and November, from Asian countries and the main deterrent was no internet connection.
On August 5 the central government repealed Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which allowed special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. There was a complete restriction on the movement of people, and essential services were suspended for more than three months.