Tourism in Kashmir badly hit due to 3rd wave
SRINAGAR, Jan 14: There have been around 30 percent cancellations in the hotel bookings in Kashmir due to the third wave of COVID-19 and more cancellations are apprehended due to the fear psychosis.
Hotels in the world famed tourist destination of Gulmarg that were packed for the most of winter are also witnessing cancellations in bookings for the last few days.
The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa, Gulmarg which was fully sold for January is also feeling the heat. It has 10 percent cancellations during last few days.
Vinit Chhabra, General Manager of the hotel told Excelsior that there is general sense of fear among the travelers due to COVID-19 and it has impacted the bookings. “We were fully sold for the month but are losing some rooms now”, he said.
The travel agents are also losing the business due to COVID-19 and they fear more cancellations in the coming weeks due to the steep rise in the cases in the States from where bulk of tourists come to Kashmir these days.
One the leading travel agent of the Valley and Vice Chairman J&K Tourism Alliance, Shameem Ahmad Shah, told Excelsior that for the last one week there have been 30 percent cancellations of bookings in hotels and houseboats.
“Major chunk of tourists coming to Kashmir presently is from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi. All these three States are badly hit due to the third wave. We had almost 30 percent cancellations for last few days and more and more tourists are cancelling their booking which were for February and March”, he said.
“Omicron which is spreading fast has led to fear psychosis among travelers and they are cancelling their travel which is impacting hotel bookings here. We hope once cases decrease, the bookings may go up”, he said.
The last three months saw surge in tourism in Kashmir after last 7 years as tourists in large numbers turned up in October, November and December.
Director Tourism, Dr G N Itoo, told Excelsior that 1.27 lakh and 1.43 lakh tourists visited Kashmir in November and December respectively.