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Hoteliers seek extension of lease, vow to promote winter tourism

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Re-elect Chaya as chairman

Srinagar: With an eye on winter tourism, J&K Hoteliers Club has urged Lt Governor’s administration to extend the lease of the hoteliers at various tourist resorts.

In a statement issued today, J&KHC chairman Mushtaq A Chaya said the hoteliers are in stress due to expiry of the lease which, administration had from time to time assured to extend.

Chaya said due to recent snowfall, especially at Gulmarg, tourists have started visiting the Valley and are expected to come in large numbers in coming months.

“However, to host them properly, the government has to provide every support to the hoteliers without pushing them to the wall,” said Chaya.

Chaya further said the hoteliers are facing harassment at the hands of administration at a time when tourism has just started to pick up after over a year long zero tourist arrivals in Kashmir.

“Kashmir tourism has been the worst-hit since August 2019 and is struggling to survive. After August 2019, and later nationwide coronavirus lockdown, Kashmir tourism was hit badly. Hoteliers who have a lot of investment and manpower at stake were the worst-hit. Now as the government has opened the Valley for tourism activities, they are facing harassment which is hampering the efforts to promote tourism,” said Chaya.

The JKHC chairman further said the hoteliers are ready to welcome tourists on Christmas, New Year and also host India’s mega sporting event Khelo India this winter.

“To make these events a success, hoteliers are also making efforts and encouraging travellers to visit Kashmir. We have activated our marketing teams for winter tourism promotions. However, at this time, we badly need government support and not harassment,” he said.

Chaya fervently appealed to the LG Manoj Sinha to impress upon the administration that the lease of the hoteliers may be extended so that they can work shoulder to shoulder with the government in attracting tourists in large numbers.

Meanwhile, J&KHC held its 8th annual general meeting today where the Chaya was unanimously re-elected as chairman.

Riyaz Ahmad Shahdad was elected as senior vice-chairman, Amit Amla as junior vice-chairman, Tariq Rashid Ghani as secretary general, Naseer Ahmad Khan as joint general secretary and Musadiq Shah as treasurer.

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