Need to build trust for tourism

New Delhi: There is a need to build trust and ensure that problems of the Jammu and Kashmir tourism sector, which is on “ventilator”, are addressed at the earliest, experts said at a seminar on the economic situation of J-K after abrogation of Article 370 provisions.

Experts from various fields, including the travel industry, had gathered at the seminar “Kashmironomics”, which was held in the national capital recently, and they said the time had come to bury the past and look towards a better tomorrow.

The government on August 5 had abrogated provisions of the Article 370 that gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into union territories of Jammu and Kashmi, and Ladakh.

Asif Iqbal Burza, who owns a chain of hotels in the Kashmir Valley, said tourism encourages people to people contact and integrates people culturally, socially and economically.

“We need to ask ourselves do we build these bridges of hope or break these bridges. We need tourists to visit Jammu and Kashmir, and share their stories and experiences about their travel as Kashmir, besides its natural landscape, has a unique cuisine, culture and way of life.

“From the government, the tourism industry needs serious handholding as it is on ventilator. We need bailout packages to survive these difficult times,” Burza said at the event which was held recently.

Chief Executive Officer of travel company Ebix group Naveen Kundu said he feels that it is time for private investors to step in.

“We have to take on board as without them it won’t happen. It is a futuristic society and an example to that is the convention centre that was built several years back.