While the focused attention on showcasing Kashmir tourism in major cities of the country and world class tourist destination centres in different parts of the world has drawn a flak not just for a year or two but for decades together, the tourism department has failed to developed tourist infrastructure at the new tourist places to bring them on the international tourist map. Needlessly a cultural program recently held in Badamwari Srinagar proved to be a very bad experience. The cause of unusual incident during the cultural evening show at Badamwari was not only the mismanagement of the inaugural function but also the timing of the event. Amid the outbreak of a fresh strain of COVID-19 pandemic the conduct of bigger public event was a bad decision in view of the fresh health safety guidelines announced by the Health and Medical Education Department. Historically Badamwari is a place where Kashmiri Pandits used to celebrate a religious festival “Navreh” and as such this place was not even fit for promotion of domestic tourism in Kashmir. While the ministers, administrative secretaries and directors of the tourism department during the years of popular rule in erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state used to spend big chunks of money on foreign trips for holding cultural conclaves at world class tourist destination centres to showcase valley’s old tourist destinations there, not even a single audit has been conducted to fix responsibility on the responsible public functionaries for the failure of such mega cultural events at world class tourist destination centres for years and decades together. Instead of auditing the lavish spending on tourism promotion by successive popular governments of erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state the incumbent government is allowing the top functionaries of tourism department to carry forward the practice of holding cultural shows only for purposes of spending the unspent public money at the fag end of the financial year. Using the unspent money on unwanted tourism promotion events within and outside Jammu & Kashmir and even at the world class tourist destination centres year after year at the fag end of the financial year has become a non step precedence of Kashmir’s tourism directorate.
Focus has to be on developing tourist infrastructure at new tourist places for the purposes of domestic tourism but not on show casing old tourist places at world class tourist destination centres just for spending the unspent money at the fag end of the financial year.
Promise of developing tourist infrastructure in Kashmir has been virtually reduced to papers as no new tourist destination in Kashmir is worth to be called a world class tourist destination centre. Constructing hotels and huts at famed tourist destinations has neither changed the tourist map nor the tourist scenario of Kashmir. The people all over the world know all about traditional tourist centres of Kashmir and there is no need o showcase such ages old tourist destination centres at the world class tourist destination centres. Focus has to be on developing tourist infrastructure at new tourist places for the purposes of domestic tourism but not on show casing old tourist places at world class tourist destination centres just for spending the unspent money at the fag end of the financial year.