Locals, tourists welcome UK's decision to ease travel advisory for J-K

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 10, 2012 08:30 hrs

The decision of United Kingdom to lift its warning against travel to Jammu and Kashmir was welcomed by locals and the tourism industry in the Valley on Saturday.

Jammu and Kashmir was once the most sought-after tourist destinations, but lost its popularity due to the rise of militancy in the region.

With normalcy being gradually restored in the Valley, the tourism industry has again picked up momentum in the state.

For some locals, the decision would pave way for a homecoming for the British, who hold a prominent spot in establishing Kashmir as a sought after tourist spot.

"It's a welcoming decision and all the people connected with tourism are happy. I believe that especially for British citizens it's a homecoming because if you see the tourism history of Kashmir, in the beginning of 20th century, the British played a vital part in getting Kashmir on the world tourism map," said Yaseen Tuman, a local.

Indian tourists visiting the Valley also welcomed the decision, and said that such developments would project a good image of the state to the world and will ensure that peace prevails in the province.

"As UK has decided to relax its travel advisory for Jammu and Kashmir, other countries should also follow its lead and they should encourage their citizens to visit the state. I think that if foreign governments lift the ban and increase tourism, peace would continue to prosper in the valley," said Anita Desai, a tourist.

Kashmir was once dubbed the Switzerland of the east. It was once a Mecca for climbers, skiers, honeymooners and filmmakers drawn to the state's soaring peaks, fruit orchards and timber houseboats bobbing on Dal Lake in Srinagar. (ANI)

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