Violence in Kashmir takes down hotels’ occupancy to only 10%

Srinagar: With the current events of stone pelting on tourists in the Valley and the death of a 22-year-old tourist from Tamil Nadu who got stuck between the clashes on Monday; Kashmir is suffering major losses in its tourism industry.

This incident has added up to the loss which Kashmir is already incurring due to the unrest. According to a report by Times of India, hotels in Kashmir have only 10 to 15% occupancy as compared to around 40% occupancy during the same period in 2017, Mustaq Ahmad Chaya, chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers club, told the daily.

One more reason that can be cited for what is ‘keeping tourists away’ is the wide media coverage of riots, stone-pelting incidents and even the violence between terrorists and security forces.

The chairman of the Hotelier club said though the situation improved in 2017, the sudden increase in violence can be attributed to low occupancy. The state that has 7% stake in tourism sector earns Rs 1500 crore as revenue.

A clash had occurred between stone-pelters and the security forces at Narabal on Monday morning. The tourist family from Tamil Nadu came under the violence. “R. Thirumani was critically injured in his face. He was rushed to the hospital where he passed in the evening,” SSP Budgam had said.

Apart from the 22-year-old, four other persons including a girl from Handwara area of frontier Kupwara district were injured in the incident, police sources said.