90 Percent Job Cuts in tourism Sector Post Art 370 Abrogation: Tour Operators

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Owais Gul

Srinagar: As the tourism sector is on crutches, at least 90 per cent job cuts took place in tourism sector post abrogation of Article 370 by the central government on August 5 this year, tour operators said.

According to the wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), tour operators said that they have suffered unimaginable loss since the situation turned worse in Kashmir following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status (Article 370) and bifurcation of erstwhile State into two Union Territories—Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

Secretary General of Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), Farooq Ahmad Kuthoo said that the many of the youth—both boys and girls who were earning their livelihood in tourism sector are now jobless.

“The losses being suffered by the tour operators, hoteliers and others affiliated with tourism sector compelled the owners to reduce the number of employees, thus leaving the youth jobless,” he said, adding that those who are still employees are getting half salaries.

He added that most of tourism players have not earned even a single penny since August this year, adding that it is for the first time that the hoteliers are not even able to run their operational costs.

Kuthoo further stated there are less chances of revival of tourism sector at present due to the absence of internet services in Kashmir, adding that internet is main tool for tour operators as it is the only source for getting the queries from tourists. Some of these youth are now installing their stalls in Srinagar areas, where they sell barbeques, clothes and other things.

Nasir Ahmad, a barbeque seller at SP Higher Secondary playground said that he was working as a chef in a local hotel here but after August 5, he lost his job and is now selling Barbeque here.

He added that there are many youth like him who lost their jobs post abrogation of Article 370 and are now selling different things including food stuff at different places. “Many of the youth are still jobless and are facing tremendous hardships,” he said.

Pertinently, a delegation of Kashmir Tourism Trade Bodies Joint Forum (KTTBJF) called on Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu at Raj Bhawan where they submitted a memorandum of demands. The LG Murmu during a meeting has said that the government is taking several initiatives for developing the tourism sector of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

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