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Kashmir trying to win back confidence of tourists  Nov 05, 2008

Paradise on Earth is desperately seeking to retain the confidence of tourists who have shunned the Kashmir valley because of disturbances ranging from militancy to the unrest over the Amarnath land issue.

With assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir is around the corner, there is little hope of much tourist traffic during this winter, but those involved in the tourism trade are hopeful of a huge turnout from different corners of the country as well as from abroad next summer.

"Due to the situation we don't get many people visiting the state," State Tourism Director Farooq Shah said.

"Kashmir is the best destination. There is ample opportunity for mountaineering, skiing and rafting apart from great beauty that a tourist can enjoy," Shah said.

Stating that the situation has greatly improved and tourists were safe to visit Kashmir, he said "we want the true image of the state to be projected."

"If the true potential of the state is exploited, it can be an alternative to a holiday in Europe," he said.

Inspector General of Kashmir Range of J and K, G Srinivasan sounded very upbeat about the possibilities of tourism stating that it was safe to visit Kashmir.

"I can assure that there is no organised effort to disturb the tourists," Srinivasan said. "There was only one incident this year when one man from Uttar Pradesh lost his life in June," he said.

Kashmir trying to win back confidence of tourists
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