30% of hotel reservations canceled in the valley – Latest news from Jammu and Kashmir | Tourism
Tourism in Kashmir hit hard by 3rd wave
SRINAGAR, Jan 14: There have been around 30% cancellations in hotel bookings in Kashmir due to third wave of COVID-19 and further cancellations are dreaded due to fear psychosis.
Hotels in the world famous tourist destination of Gulmarg, which were packed for most of the winter, are also experiencing booking cancellations in recent days.
The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa, Gulmarg, which sold out in January, is also feeling the heat. It has 10% cancellations in the last few days.
Vinit Chhabra, general manager of the hotel, told Excelsior that there was a general sense of fear among travelers due to COVID-19 and this had impacted bookings. “We’ve been completely sold out for the month, but we’re losing a few rooms now,” he said.
Travel agents are also losing business due to COVID-19 and they fear more cancellations in the coming weeks due to the sharp increase in cases in the United States from where the bulk of tourists come to Kashmir these these days.
One of the Valley’s leading travel agents and J&K Tourism Alliance Vice President, Shameem Ahmad Shah, told Excelsior that in the last week there have been 30% cancellations of bookings in hotels and houseboats.
“The bulk of tourists coming to Kashmir currently come from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi. These three states are being hit hard due to the third wave. We have had almost 30% cancellations in recent days and more and more tourists are canceling their reservations for February and March,” he said.
“Omicron, which is spreading rapidly, has caused fear psychosis among travelers and they are canceling their trip, which is impacting hotel reservations here. We hope that once the cases decrease, reservations can increase,” he said.
The last three months have seen an increase in tourism in Kashmir after the last 7 years, with tourists having come in large numbers in October, November and December.
Tourism director Dr GN Itoo told Excelsior that 1.27 lakh and 1.43 lakh tourists visited Kashmir in November and December respectively.