Hotel industry in strife-torn Kashmir takes a hit

| Updated: Sep 02, 2016 14:36 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Sept. 2 (ANI): Hotel industry in Jammu and Kashmir has taken a huge hit because of the ongoing curfew and shutdown after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, bringing economy to its knees. The hotel industry in the Valley has suffered losses to the tune of at least rupees 2.5 billion so far. Tourists have cancelled the bookings made for July-August period and those in the state are cutting their trips short and leaving. Reportedly, 90 percent of the visitors had already left by early August. President of Hotel Federation of Kashmir, Javaid Ahmad Burza, said that there were no bookings till November. "There is zero occupancy in the hotels, right from five stars, four stars to guest houses. Nobody is in Kashmir. There were people during (Amarnath) yatra but it was very less, you can say 5-10 percent and that too included those who were expected to come. So there is no work at all and no booking(s) in future till October-November," he added. "Tourism and hotel industry have suffered losses and a good atmosphere should be created to counter this. The strike should be called off," Ahmad said. The Valley has been grappling with its worst unrest in six years that began on July 8 after security forces killed Burhan Wani. There have been frequent clashes between stone-pelting protesters and security forces since then, killing at least 71 people and injuring 6,000. Meanwhile, prohibitory orders continued to be in place in parts of Kashmir, amid reports of fresh clashes between civilians and security forces. Kashmir Valley, with its picturesque lakes and gardens, is a popular destination, and the hotel industry makes up for a major chunk of the revenue during May-November period when people from the northern and central parts flock to the state to escape excruciating summers. Those dependent on the sector for their livelihood urged the government to take immediate steps to restore normalcy in the Valley. (ANI)