Jammu & Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Chenab Valley, Sindh Valley and Lidder Valley. Kashmir Valley in
particular is known for its natural beauty and mesmerizing landscapes. Some major tourist attractions in Kashmir are Srinagar, the Mughal
Gardens, Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam etc. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit the holy shrine of Amarnath which has had a
significant impact on the State’s economy. Kashmir Valley is one of the top tourist destinations of India for the people of India and tourists from
other countries. Tourism, private businesses and the locals are facing potential challenges and huge losses due to the unprecedented situation in
the territory, be it the political unrest or the prevailing COVID-19 Pandemic situation.

Kashmir is known worldwide for its scenic beauty, snow clad mountain, pristine lakes, untamed streams and rivers, virgin grasslands and
meadows, flower gardens, apple farms etc. Therefore, tourism contributes majorly to the economic, social and cultural development of the Valley.
The locals bank on it as tourism provides them with jobs and employment opportunities which further helps in the progression of the State as a
whole. Tourism industry can be called a multi segmental industry here in Jammu and Kashmir as it offers different types of jobs to people
belonging to different strata of the society to include hotel managers, tourist guides, travel agents, tour operators, pony owners, drivers and many
other earn their livelihood from tourism sector either directly or indirectly which also strengthens the economy of the state by increasing the
standard of the people along with their income.
Tourism is being rightly projected as a catharsis for the prevalent social evils in the valley to include unemployment, poverty education, under
development & social discrimination. However, despite being a leading industry of J&K. tourism has not been harnessed to its full capacity.
Emphasis needs to be put on the promotion of the beautiful landscape, rich culture, traditions, heritage and hospitality which provide a unique
tourism package in the State. Kashmir is known as the “Switzerland of East’ and travellers from every nook and corner of the world get attracted to
Kashmir. It’s not just the beauty of Kashmir but also its Sufi culture and its very own Kashmiri cuisine Wazwan which is world famous and
considered as an important aspect of Kashmiri culture and identity.
Therefore, tourism forms the bedrock of cultural and commercial blend between India and the rest of the world. Kashmir provides opportunities
for adventure tourism, eco-tourism, medical tourism and pilgrimage tourism. Tourism as mentioned earlier holds a very important position in
building up the economy of J&K and also provides for benefits like employment, foreign exchange, infrastructure development and promotion of
small scale industries indulged in handicrafts and handlooms. This is what has placed J&K in the limelight at the national as well as international
level.
Industry is a major sector of development for the economy of J&K, however certain aspects if kept in mind would help the economy flourish at a
much faster pace. With the prevailing situation, it is important to have political stability in the Valley and the neighbouring areas. Safety of the
tourist is among the top priorities. The state infrastructure needs improvement to promote tourism in the region and unexplored tourist
destinations in the far-flung regions which need to be made accessible travellers in J&K. The locals need to be trained in skills and potentials
pertaining to tourism related activities. More and more institutions need to be established for skill training and subsequent job generation. The
tourism department of the UT has left no stone unturned to revive tourism after 4 long years of null that consisted of pathbreaking events like the
dreadful Pulwama attack, Abrogation of Article 370, Internet Shutdown and covid Pandemic. The Government has worked on two fronts for safe
and secure means of tourism revival. First, special vaccination drives for all stakeholders involved with the tourism industry and Two, capacity
building on protocols to handle tourists and ensure their safety during their stay in Kashmir. The Army in its own way, through various activities
and Sadbhavana events, is trying to hone the skills of the local youth which will help the collective society of Kashmir interdependent on tourism