Srinagar: The once-thriving tourism industry in Kashmir is now on the verge of shutting down. Recently, stakeholders of the industry met state Governor Satya Pal Malik and informed him of their plight as low footfalls have pushed many hotels to the brink of bankruptcy. Hotel owners demand cash assistance as an ex-gratia and non-refundable support as they have taken loans and are unable to repay their debts. Many had stacked their hopes of an increased tourist influx on the opening of the tulip garden for public in April, but due to elections and rising India-Pakistan hostility, bulk cancellations were made. Not just hotel owners, but even houseboat owners, shikarawalas and ponywallas are looking for financial aid. Shabir Ahmad, a hotel-owner in Srinagar, said, “There is a 2-5% occupancy rate and we will be forced to shut down our two hotels in Srinagar, if this situation continues.”

 

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