Heavy rains and flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir have once again dampened the spirits of Kashmir’s tourism industry. Just when the tourism season in the state was about to begin, the deluge in the valley has forced tourists across the country to make amendments in their plans.
Hoteliers and travel agents say that cancellations and rescheduling of trips have increased in the last few days. According to Economic Times, online travel portal Yatra.com has cancelled 15-20% of airline and hotel bookings made on its website for April. The same English daily reports that Five-star hotel The Lalit Grand Palace in Srinagar has lost about 40% of its booking for the extended weekend.
Looking at the adverse weather conditions in Jammu and Kashmir, tourists are now changing their choices to Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The exodus of tourists will come as a huge loss to the state which is looking to resurrect its tourism industry hit hard by last year’s devastating floods. The disaster of September 2014 caused an unparalleled devastation in almost all the districts of the state. The beautiful Kashmir valley suffered colossal damage to public and private property, businesses, farm sector, tourism and numerous other segments.
Meanwhile, weather models at Skymet show intermittent rainfall in the state for the next 2-3 days. The situation will improve thereafter with forecast of only light rain till April 8.
But what needs to be seen is that how well and quickly the state government handles the situation post the floods. And whether they will be able to instill faith among travelers or not will also remain a big question.