Kashmir being a geographical wonder is blessed with immense natural beauty and is known for its breathtaking landscapes, snowy mountains, meadows , gardens, orchards, lakes, high mountain passes, Hill stations and religious sites . There is too much of diversity that Kashmir offers in culture, nature and climate. Apart from this Kashmir valley offers various categories of tourism, like water sports, rafting, skiing, tracking , Shikara ride and iconic house boats . There is an immense potential of winter games , snow parking , spiritual tourism and border tourism. Tourism has become a very fast growing industry in the current period and is considered an economic bonanza for union territory, since industrial development is very limited and youth unemployment is one of the major challenges faced by union territory of J&K. Tourism has contributed much to the local economy over the years. Tourists provide direct and indirect income to innumerable locals by spending money on taxi, hotel, shopping, travel agency etc . Tourism industry has the potential to uplift the local economy of kashmir and create job opportunities for the unemployed youth. Tourism sector is the main driver of the economy. This sector has a capacity to create large scale employment and has given jobs to a large number of people espicially in tertiary sector. Its impact is visible in services rendered by people directly or indirectly, including hotel staff, tour operators, taxi drivers, tour guides, souvenir vendors etc. The industry provides employment to around 70,000 people . It is holding strategic importance in the development and expansion of other industries, such as agriculture, horticulture, handicrafts, sports, construction, banking, insurance and transportation. People get engaged in related services for several socio- economic benefits which in turn get good quality of life, high standard of living and increase in the wealth. Tourism is a game changer for this ailing econmy .Today over 70 percent of J&K’s papulation is estimated to be around 35 years.If this huge demographic potential is properly canalized, it could prove a great source of human asset.This human asset could be utilized in the unique type of highly labour-intensive industry and which does not require vast patches of land like in agriculture and horticulture. Presently both skilled and unskilled youth render services to earn money spent by tourists in the places they visit. Tourism sector starts paying off immediately as it has no gestation period like other sectors. According to tourism department the region witnessed increasing foot fall of domestic and foreign visitors. Kashmir is scaling new heights in tourist count. Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir has seen a remarkable boom after the turmoil, violence and unrest the region has witnessed over the years. The record breaking arrival of tourists thronging the valley has been bringing smiles on the otherwise gloomy faces of educated youth.The surge in tourism is evident among foriegn visitors with a staggering 1.27 crore tourists visiting uptojuly 2023. The target is much more as the union territory is set to break last years record of 1.89 crore tourist arrivals , more than 15,000 foriegners visiting uptojune 2023 a significant increase compared to the first half of 2022 when only 4028 foreign tourists arrived. It is predicted that the total number of tourist arrivals will surpass 2 crores.
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