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June 8, 2012

Tourists make a beeline for Kashmir to escape heat, air ticket prices skyrocket

     Srinagar: The airfare to Srinagar has skyrocketed, as more and more tourists are making a beeline for the cool climes of the Kashmir Valley to escape the scorching heat of the plains. Soaring temperatures in various parts of India have left people quite distressed and compelled them to remain indoors or escape to the hilly areas. One of the most famous spots remains the iconic Dal Lake . According to media reports, the hike in airfares has affected the hospitality sector and tourism as a whole in the state. Tourists are also of the view that it would be a more pleasant experience for them if the prices are slashed to suit their pockets. "The rates are very high at this point. This is because it is very hot in all parts of northern India and since the vacations have begun, everyone wants to go to hilly regions. Naturally, there is a lot of rush, which is why the prices of air tickets have risen. It does affect us, but if we want to enjoy, then there is no option and we try to afford," said Ashu Garg, a tourist. Meanwhile, a travel operator, Nazir Bakshi, said that nothing much can be done to improve the situation, but efforts must be made to make Kashmir a tourist-friendly destination. "There are about 20-21 flights daily and they are generally packed. But, it is a catch-22 situation, you cannot do anything about it, but you want a solution. We cannot do anything, but to accept it. We are at least grateful that visitors are coming, but I feel that this is not a good trend. We should give some more time to Kashmir to stabilise. So, efforts must be made not to make Kashmir an expensive destination," he said. Tourism is one of the biggest means of earning for the people of Jammu and Kashmir . Meanwhile, Kashmir of northern Jammu and Kashmir state was once a top Asian tourism destination, popular among honeymooners, skiers, trekkers and anglers, and attracting about a million tourists a year until 1989, when a simmering anger against New Delhi 's rule burst into a violent rebellion. And the numbers of visitors shrunk to only a few thousand a year. However, with peace being restored in the province, the influx of tourists has increased.
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