As reported in the media, there has been an unprecedented footfall of tourists in Jammu and Kashmir this summer season and the government, along with stakeholders, is trying to introduce some innovative methods to accommodate them.
“All the rooms, whether in guest houses or houseboats, are booked; now we are trying to give tented accommodations and home stays in different destinations of Kashmir,” said Rayees Ahmad who is a travel agent in Srinagar.
The Tourism department, along with the district administration of Bandipora, are trying to tackle the summer rush of tourists to Gurez valley near the Line of Control. Many locals have been able to arrange the tourists’ stay in their homes, even as many tented accommodations have been created on the banks of KishanGanga River to accommodate more tourists.Reports said that many private tour operators with the help of the tourism department are trying to provide tented accommodations at new tourist destinations in Kashmir valley, given the fact that all known spots like Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonmarg are completely packed. Gurez valley is providing the much needed accommodation for the coming tourists and bookings are being done online for the tented accommodations and home stays.
“We have been able to establish 15 home stays at different places in Gurez valley, apart from many tented accommodations,” said one of the district officials of Bandipora. He said that they are encouraging the youth of Gurez valley to establish tented accommodation and have even identified locations for them.
It is in place to mention that the government has launched an online campaign under the hashtag “Go Gurez” to encourage visitors to go to such beautiful valleys in Kashmir. The Jammu & Kashmir administration has even decided to develop five villages within the Dal Lake of Srinagar as a tourist village to accommodate visitors for the future.
Recently, Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha said that his government, under “Mission Youth” will go for a tourist villages’ development programme to give youth financial independence to earn of their own.The government is trying to promote rural tourism in entire Jammu and Kashmir with the aim of employment generation for the youth. The efforts have already brought some villages on the tourist map now.
Panchari village of Udhampur district in Jammu is the first tourist village with a home-stay facility.