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Kashmir tourism stakeholders hope G20 meeting in will help travel restrictions to the Valley

Tourism stakeholders in the Valley are hopeful that the upcoming G20 working group meeting in Srinagar will pave the way for lifting of Jammu and Kashmir-specific travel advisories by the European Union countries and the US, which can give a massive boost to the tourism sector. A significant number of foreign tourists — even from the countries which have negative travel advisories in place — are visiting Kashmir and they feel the place is absolutely safe.

“As a tourism stakeholder, I welcome the G20 event. There are advisories in place from various countries across the globe, which unfortunately have been in place since the 1990s. There has been a great transformation as far as the overall situation in Kashmir is concerned. It’s very peaceful now and there have been certain instances where European countries have been discussing lifting these travel advisories,” Syed Abid Rashid, Tourism Secretary to Jammu and Kashmir government, told PTI.

“As a tourism stakeholder, I welcome the G20 event. There are advisories in place from various countries across the globe, which unfortunately have been in place since the 1990s. There has been a great transformation as far as the overall situation in Kashmir is concerned. It’s very peaceful now and there have been certain instances where European countries have been discussing lifting these travel advisories,” Syed Abid Rashid, Tourism Secretary to Jammu and Kashmir government, told PTI.

Manzoor Ahmad Wangnoo, who has been associated with the tourism trade for several decades, said it was the best time to revoke the advisories. “I think this is the best time to revoke those advisories. You see, for the last two years, all the hotels, houseboats are full. The credit goes to the department of tourism. Earlier, you know, we had COVID and business was almost zero. Now we have tourists calling us for reservations, they want to know if they will get hotel rooms or not. That is wonderful news,” Wangnoo said.

On the arrival of international tourists, he said, “It was not that good in the last two years but it has started moving upwards. You see the shikarawallahs and the ponywallahs and those associated with tourist trade. They are doing wonderful business. This message goes across the country and abroad. It will take some time, we are showing them the best hospitality of Kashmir.” “Kashmir is safe for tourists, especially international tourists,” he added.

 

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