Tourism as industry

Way back in 1995, the State Government formally declared tourism an industry. People thought it was a very healthy and positive step to infuse tourism in the state with new life and energy. Of course, tourism is an important economic activity in which thousands of families are involved. In particular, the fame of Kashmir as the paradise on earth is a huge attraction for tourists from within the country and abroad. But mere declaration of tourism as an industry means nothing. We regret to say that the follow up that should have been there after it was declared an industry is totally absent. Developing tourism as an industry means investing in the industry to make it productive and self sufficient. That stage never arrived because it was never attempted at.
Hotel and Restaurant Association Katra and Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association members have criticized the Government for denying industrial facilities and support to tourism and thus making a mockery of its own order. They have also complained that though all the three regions of the State have the potential for tourism and trade, yet adequate facilities are not made available and that the industrial status given to tourism remains only confined to papers.
The Government should pay heed to the suggestions of the hoteliers who are directly concerned with tourist industry. More than 2 crore of tourists, normal tourists and pilgrim tourists, visit the State annually. This is enormous potential and should become a productive industry in the State.

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