Chennai: The abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent lockdown of Kashmir brought down tourist arrivals to a halt in the region. Arrivals between August and November fell 86 per cent against the same period in 2018 and 93 per cent compared with the same months in 2017.
In the four-month period after the Article 370 was revoked in Kashmir, the tourist arrivals fell to 36,105 against 2,67,955 during the same period in 2018—a drop of 86.5 per cent. The lowest arrival was in September when just 4,562 people visited the place against 83,723 in the year-ago month, a fall of 95 per cent.
Though the government had opened up the state for tourists in October, the decline in arrivals was 84 per cent against the year-ago month, according to tourism ministry data.
“The season has been wiped out. Though officially tourists are allowed, several clearances are needed,’ Rajeev Kale, president and country head– Holidays, MICE & Visa, Thomas Cook India, had told Financial Chronicle. The government had revoked Article 370 in the first week of August and had kept the state locked down after that.
Even 2018 was not a great year for Kashmir tourism. The tourist arrivals in 2018 also had hit a seven-year low as the Pulwama attack and the internal uncertainties had hit the industry. During the four-month period between August and December 2018, arrivals of 2,67,955 were 51 per cent down from 5,45,601 in the corresponding period in 2017. When compared to August-November 2017, ar-rivals in the four months of 2019 were down 93 per cent.
The situation has not changed much in December either. “This December was not like those in the past. Though we are receiving messages from the local trade and government, we had to inspect the place and ensure that tourists could travel to the place,” said Kapil Goswamy, MD, Big Breaks.com....