By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, June 21 (SocialNews.XYZ) One of the most important sectors of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy is tourism.
Being the largest service industry in the UT, tourism contributes significantly to GDP, provides employment, yields tax revenue and also earns some foreign exchange for the country.
Like all vital sectors of J&K, tourism suffered huge losses ever since the outbreak of separatist violence in Kashmir.
Many European countries and the US issued advisories to their citizens not to travel to Kashmir, the place was categorised as ‘an unsafe travel destination’.
This brought misery into the lives of thousands of locals, including hoteliers, guesthouse owners, houseboat and Shikara operators in addition to taxi owners, Ponywallahs, tourist guides and others connected with this industry like shawl makers, Papier Machie artisans, carpet weavers, wood carving artisans etc.
For more than 6 years after 1990, when violence took centre stage in Kashmir, tourism…