Hoteliers, houseboat and shikara operators happy as Kashmir sees surge in tourism

Srinagar :  Srinagar’s postcard perfect Dal Lake has been drawing a large number of tourists in the past few weeks for shikara rides while the lights on ornately carved houseboats are shimmering again as the Kashmir Valley has witnessed a huge tourism influx in recent months.

Hotels dotting the historic Boulevard Road skirting the Dal Lake, and those situated at other prime locations, are seeing nearly full occupancy with travellers coming from Delhi and cities as far as Surat and Kolkata.

Uncertainties emerging post the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 that ended the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and two most difficult years of the coronavirus pandemic that followed, had broken the back of tourism in J&K, but amid a recovery in the sector along with the COVID-19 vaccination exercise, Kashmir is welcoming visitors again with open arms. Flights landing at the Srinagar international airport have been bringing tourists from all parts of the country, and hoteliers, houseboat owners, taxi and shikara operators, and restauranteurs are pleased to see this increased flow of tourism that has boosted their revenues.