Journal of Business & Economic Policy

ISSN 2375-0766 (Print), 2375-0774 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jbep

Exploring the Socio-Economic Coordinates of Tourism: A Case of Kashmir
Bilal Ahamad Bhat

The state of Jammu & Kashmir being the abode of Himalayas represents an epitome of natural beauty and, hence, has emerged as one of the top most tourist resorts of the world. The variegation in states tourism sector in the form of nature tourism, cultural tourism, adventure tourism, pilgrimage tourism, leisure tourism etc. has attracted tourist of every nature irrespective of space as a result of which, this sector has been the mainstay of state’s economy. Pertinently, all throughout the turbulence when the valley was reeling under the cycle of violence and when life virtually went into sabbatical, this sector especially through the pilgrimage tourism remained the only viable option with the people to relieve themselves from the imposed agonies. Further, in the absence of a well established private sector and given the fact that this sector has been the main agency of employment generation, a complex sociology of tourism has shaped up in the state involving administration, hoteliers, houseboat owners, taxi wallah, tonga wallah, pony wallah etc. and the tourist. Unfortunately, the unscientific management and irrational interaction of the public with such tourist places has jeopardized their very delicacy which has, in turn, immensely harmed the states otherwise rich diversity of flora and fauna. All this has generated a need towards a proper organizational structure in order to sustainably harness the tourist potential in the state. However, in the absence of inadequate infrastructure and specific and sound interventional measures at place, the state couldn’t secure properly at many counts be that guest-host relationship, conforming to the environmental norms or drawing the expected dividend. This paper, therefore, endeavors to explore the sociology of tourism in Kashmir with a due focus on socio-economic dimensions of tourism besides highlighting the need towards the eco-tourism in the state so that the tourist potential can be optimally realized that too, on the sustainable basis.

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