Srinagar: Following the abrogation of Article 370 and the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism industry in Jammu and Kashmir has recorded a revenue loss to the tune of over Rs 1168 Crores. Also in 2019, there has been a 34 per cent decline in the number of tourists.
Officials in the tourism department have calculated this loss on account of the non-functional tourism industry in Kashmir division on the basis of the hypothesis of the tourist arrival and their expenditures.
Official documents accessed by Kashmir News Observer reveal that “the loss of the tourism industry in Kashmir Division is Rs 1166.81 crores (approximately) on account of the non-functional tourism industry from January-04-2019 to June-30-2020.”
The information was revealed by the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the tourism department in a reply to the queries of a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by M M Shuja, an RTI activist.
“During 2018, the number of domestic and foreign tourists visiting the Kashmir valley was 8,307,58 while as the tourist arrival during 2019 was reported as 56,553,2 which shows there is a decline of 34 per cent in tourist footfall in the aftermath of constitutional changes on August 5, 2019,” the officer said.
In a reply to RTI queries, the officer said that during 2020, the tourist arrival from January to ending July is 17,874 which shows a drastic decline in tourist footfall due to COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
“Assuming that a tourist visits Kashmir valley and spends at least Rs 20,000 during the stay, the amount spent by tourists during the year 2018 was Rs 1661.52 Crores,” he said.
The PIO said that similarly during the year 2019, the amount spent by the tourists could be charted out as the total number of tourists (5,65,532) multiplied by Rs 20,000 which equals to Rs 1131.06 Crores.
“Besides, during the year 2020 up to ending July, the amount spent might work out as 17,874 multiplied by Rs 20,000 which equals to Rs 35.75 Crores,” he said.
The PIO said it is clear that the loss of revenue on account of the non-functional tourism industry in Kashmir Division is 1166.81 Crores (approximately) on the basis of assumption referred above.” KNO
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