Airfares go sky high, hit winter tourism in Kashmir

TaAK expresses concern
Srinagar, Jan 3: Valley’s premier travel agents’ body, TAAK, today said the rising airfares have been badly affecting the winter tourism in Kashmir.

In its Executive Committee meet today with its President Rauf Ahmad Tramboo in chair, the members expressed serious concern over the soaring of airfares.
The travel to Kashmir by tourists from different parts of India has become largely unaffordable because of the huge hike in airfare, Tramboo told Greater Kashmir while giving the details of the meeting.
He said it has been badly affecting the domestic tourist arrivals to Kashmir valley in winter. “The irrational price hike keeps the intending tourists away from Kashmir. They either cancel their trips or delay it with a hope that airfares may get stabilized, or they prefer to fly foreign destinations as the fares are much cheaper than flying to Kashmir,” he said.
“Even in the peak season we faced the same problem. The airlines hiked the prices unexpectedly resulting in many cancellations,” he said.
Tramboo said as the winter is always a lean period for tourism in Kashmir “the tour operators are putting in lot of efforts to get some business. But the rise in the airfares is playing spoilsport.”
“It seems that all the airlines have formed a cartel where they arbitrarily fix the rates on Jammu & Kashmir route. Due to this sudden increase in the airfare tour operators in the valley are facing tremendous pressure as their bookings are getting cancelled or deferred,” he said.
Meanwhile, the TAASK has urged the government to take the issue with the aviation ministry to find a solution to this problem as “the travel operators in the Valley are losing a good and substantial amount of business due to this unreasonable price hike.”
Pertinently, on some routes the airfares have witnessed 50 to 80 per cent increase.

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