Hopeful tourism will bounce back once people get confidence to travel: Com Secy Tourism Hafeez
Srinagar, Jun 11 : After the government allowed the tourism activities in June 2020 last year, the tourism department of Kashmir started various programs and events to attract the tourists from different parts of the country.
Tourism department held many programs and events in different parts of the country which included fests, carnivals, road shows, and webinars with different tour operators across the country.
According to the official figures, as soon as the tourism activities were allowed in June, 2020, the last six months of year, recorded 41,267 tourist footfall in the valley, while as before the onset of second wave of Covid-19, followed by the imposition of corona lockdown on 29 April this year, the first four months of year 2021, recorded 1,26,076 tourists in the valley.
Similarly, with the partial relaxations in the Covid restrictions in the valley, tourism department started a special drive to inoculate the people who have direct interface with the tourists and around 9000 stakeholders were immunized during the special drive for anti- Covid vaccine across the valley.
Commissioner Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez while speaking to the news agency said, considering it as a responsibility towards people, on the directions of the Lt. Governor, vaccination drive was started for the stakeholders associated with the tourism industry, who have the direct interface with the tourists.
“Around 23,000 people have been vaccinated so far,” he said.
Hafeez said apart from ramping up the vaccination for stakeholders associated with the tourism industry and capacity building measure programs, the government is also focusing on the improvisation of the services.
“The cases are on decline. We are monitoring the situation, we are hopeful the tourism will bounce back once the people will get confidence to travel. We are hearing from the travel trade fraternity and hoteliers that some queries have started coming, once the Covid situation improves the things are going to improve a lot,” he said.
According to Manzoor Pakhtoon, a senior representative of tour operators in the valley said, “We had bookings until the end of May this year, but the second wave of Covid infections in the country changed the situation, which led to the cancellation of all the bookings we had.”
“We are hopeful of improvement in Covid situation in valley along with the other parts of the country, and we extended our full support to the government during the vaccination drive,” he said