Jammu and Kashmir has seen a huge influx of tourists in last one year. The flow of tourists after improvement in COVID situation has been unmatched in the UT. Although the snow spell was very short; still there have been great number of tourists in the UT. However, it is a matter of concern that the benefits of such huge influx of tourists in the UT is limited only to a short number of populations. Tourism is a major source of economy in the UT but there are only a few prominent places that have a historical significance as popular tourist destination and have adequately developed infrastructure. Thus, the benefits of tourism are limited to small pockets of population.
There is no dearth of natural scenic beauty in the union Territory. It is spread all over the places. There are many destinations which are much better than the existing tourist spots but due to underdeveloped or non-existing infrastructure for tourists; there is hardly any flow of tourists to these places. Moreover, such places have remained overlooked due to political and financial reasons and have hardly been ever mentioned in media. Thus, they have remained undeveloped/ underdeveloped since ages. Some of the major infrastructure developments which are required to be undertaken for growth of tourism in a particular place are
- Advertisement about the concerned tourist spot,
- Presence in social media,
- Facility to travel up to that place by road and air,
- Places to stay for the tourists and uninterrupted internet connection. Also, there is a need for uninterrupted electric supply,
- Net banking facility,
- Availability of basic medical facilities,
- Local items as souvenir,
- Other municipal facilities and good law and order situation prevailing.
These are basic infrastructure facilities that need to be developed by administration. It should be implemented with zeal and goodwill. Moreover, local people must be incorporated when development process is taking place and made to believe that it is for their ultimate benefit that the facilities are being developed. Local resources must be used to maximum extent and development should be done without disturbing the natural ambience of the place. Research work about the historical importance of the spot and ecological life must be carried out and told to the tourists. Interiors of the UT including far flung areas where human interference has been very less over the ages may be developed for spiritual/ adventure sports / psychological treatment destinations.
Liberal loan policies should be made for the local entrepreneurs who contribute to the cause of development of rural tourism. At the same time lucrative offer should be given to the businessmen who invest in development of infrastructure. The law and order situation including security set up has improved a lot and will develop further in the coming time thus making the tourists free from all worries. There has to be a political will for full fledged development of the rural areas and creation of additional job opportunities at the intended places. This will do a lot of good to the local economy and generate much needed employment opportunity.