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Authorities Developing Infrastructure in Ladakh to Give Boost to Tourism

Monday, October 15th, 2012

The Department of Tourism in the stateof Jammu and Kashmir is taking steps to improve infrastructure to give a boost to tourism in Ladakh's Kargil District.The authorities recently inaugurated a bungalow and a cafeteria, which provides good food and lodging facilities.Muhammad Aslam, a resident, hailed the initiative of the state government and hoped for more such developments in near future so that unemployed youth of the region may benefit.

"This would benefit people of Kargil. The tourist bungalow in Trespone will attract many tourists and foreigners. It will provide employment and be good for the economy. We want such bungalows to be constructed so that the unemployed get employment," said Aslam.The tourism department has also said that it will be promoting water sports in the area like river rafting.Mountaineering and trekking will also be an attraction for the visitors.

Director of Tourism (Kashmir) Talat Parvez said the facilities would cater to the needs of tourists.The state government has taken a few steps to provide accommodation in the government sector, and in this connection, only the Suru Valley has facilities for tourists. I believe tourists would like to stay in this accommodation and the restaurant will also cater to their food and other needs," said Parvez.

It is said that 60 percent of Kashmiris bank on tourism for a livelihood.Kashmir 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.

Tourism returned in force to Kashmir in 2005 as violence fell after India and Pakistan began a peace process. Some 600,000 people visited the scenic region, most of them Indians.But numbers dropped again since 2008 after massive anti-India protests broke out in the region. (ANI)

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