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COVID-19 resurgence: J&K tourism players face mass cancellation of hotel bookings for summer season

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Srinagar: Amid a resurgence in Covid-19 positive cases across India, the hoteliers and houseboat owners in the valley are facing mass cancellation of hotel bookings for the summer season.

Talking to Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Manzoor Pakhtoon, a tour operator, said that amid a spike in Covid-19 cases, the majority of the advance bookings for the summer are getting cancelled.

“The valley is witnessing a huge influx in tourism and for summers there were pre-bookings till May end. However, in view of growing Covid-19 positive cases in the country, prior bookings are getting cancelled,” he said.

Secretary Houseboat Association Abdul Rasheed told KNO that the majority of their advance bookings for the summer season are getting cancelled, while tourists who are already in the valley are cutting short their trip.

“More than 80 per cent of Houseboats are empty now, with no fresh bookings around in view of growing COVID-19 positive cases in the country,” Rasheed said.

“With fresh weekend lockdowns in different parts of the country, tourists are reluctant to travel with Covid scare around. Though we are making sure that when the tourists visit us, they are following the COVID-19 SOPs, but the scare is there,” he said.

Meanwhile, a top official from the Floriculture department said that gardens and parks would remain open under already set Covid-19 Sops and guidelines to attract tourists.

After the official opening of Tulip Garden for visitors on 25 March 2021, it has been successful in attracting a huge number of visitors. So far the garden has recorded more than two lakh visitors.

In a move to prevent the further spread of the virus after many students tested Covid positive, the administration has closed the schools from primary to 12th class.

Meanwhile, office of the LG on Saturday ordered the postponement of 11th class examination and ceiling on gatherings and functions to 100 persons only.

“In view of #COVID19, class 11th exams have been postponed. There will also be a ceiling on gatherings and functions restricting to 100 persons from earlier 200,” the office of the LG J&K tweeted. (KNO)

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