THE recent announcement by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha about the aim to host a record two crore tourists this year is certainly a positive development for the union territory. However, it raises concerns about the region’s readiness to handle such a massive influx of visitors.
While it is commendable that the J&K administration is committed to creating an enabling environment for the private sector for economic development, employment, and income generation, it is imperative to note that the UT’s infrastructure is not yet up to par to handle a large influx of tourists.
Kashmir is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it is also plagued by a lack of infrastructure, roads, hotels, transportation, and basic amenities. To achieve the ambitious goal of two crore tourists, the government needs to address these issues first.
Improving transportation infrastructure, including road and rail connectivity, is crucial to attracting tourists to the UT. The current connectivity infrastructure is outdated and insufficient to handle the increased traffic. The J&K administration must prioritize improving the infrastructure to make it more accessible and convenient for tourists.
The UT must also address the issue of accommodation for tourists. While it is encouraging to see the private sector investing in the UT’s health sector and building medical colleges and hospitals, the lack of quality hotels and other lodging facilities remains a major obstacle. The UT needs to incentivize the investment in the hospitality sector to ensure that there are enough high-quality and affordable hotels for tourists.
The UT must focus on improving the basic amenities like drinking water, sanitation, and waste management facilities. It is critical to ensure that tourists have access to clean drinking water and hygienic toilets.
Lastly, the UT must also address the issue of security. While the situation in the region has improved significantly in recent years, there is still a perception of insecurity among tourists. The government must work to improve the security situation in the region to reassure tourists that they are safe.
While the goal of hosting two crore tourists is undoubtedly ambitious and commendable, the administration needs to focus on building and upgrading its infrastructure before bringing more tourists to the region. Improving transportation infrastructure, providing quality accommodation, ensuring basic amenities, and addressing security concerns must be the top priority for the government. Only then can the UT truly capitalize on its potential as a tourism destination and achieve its ambitious goal of two crore tourists.
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