Insurance mooted to cover losses incurred by tourism sector in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Aug 18 (ANI): The tourism sector of Jammu and Kashmir has welcomed the initiative of the state government to device an insurance scheme to those involved in tourism trade. This sector will be compensated for the losses borne by them, if any.

The tourism industry in the region was affected due to militancy and the frequent shutdown calls given by separatist factions.

The new insurance proposal seeks to underwrite the losses incurred by the hospitality industry as well as travel agents and tour operators.

"This policy will benefit everyone right from taxi drivers, pony owners and the helping hands in horse riding and all associated with this sector who deal directly with the state. This will enable the people in the tourism industry to avail this opportunity," said Farooq Shah, Director of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir.

This is for the first time that an insurance scheme exclusively for the tourism segment has been initiated.

This proposal has been welcomed by the tourism sector.

"If the tourism season is for six months or ninety days and our business runs successfully for 45 days, then we can get our returns for the rest 45 days by the insurance company. It is a token gift from the government of Jammu and Kashmir," Said Abdul Razzak, an owner of a Shikara.The government is trying to meet the demands of the travel and tourism trade. The private sector should come forward and invest in the tourism sector, as tourism is the gift of nature to us. Also, the tourism is the only industry which can grow and progress in this state," said Muhammad Azim Toman, President, Houseboat Owners Association, Srinagar.

Kashmir has been among the top Asian tourism destinations though it has been suffering major slow down since out break of militancy in the region in 1989.

However, over the past couple of years, visitors have started returning to the pristine and majestic region as violence has declined after India and Pakistan started a slow-moving peace process in 2004. (ANI)

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