Reviving Paradise: The Resurgence of Tourism in Kashmir Post-370 Abrogation


In August 2019, a landmark decision by the Indian government fundamentally altered the socio-political landscape of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The abrogation of Article 370, which granted special autonomy to the region, marked the beginning of a new era.

This pivotal move was not merely a change in the constitutional status but a step towards integrating J&K more closely with the rest of India, promising enhanced security, governance, and economic development.

Political and Socio-economic Shifts

The abrogation’s immediate aftermath was met with a spectrum of reactions, from apprehension to optimism. While security measures were tightened, anticipating unrest, the region gradually embarked on a path of significant transformation. The central government’s direct governance opened avenues for policy implementation previously hindered by the special status, aiming to boost local economy, infrastructure, and tourism.

Boost to Local Economy and Infrastructure

Post-370 abrogation, the government announced a slew of initiatives to revitalize the economy and infrastructural landscape of J&K. Investment summits were planned to attract national and international investors, showcasing the region’s potential in agriculture, handicrafts, and, importantly, tourism. The promise of better connectivity, enhanced security, and an investor-friendly environment began to reshape perceptions of the region as a viable destination for business and leisure.

Tourism: A Gateway to Revival

Tourism, a critical pillar of J&K’s economy, received a special focus. The government’s efforts to improve infrastructure – roads, airports, public utilities – aimed to make Kashmir more accessible to tourists. Promotional campaigns highlighted the region’s unparalleled beauty, cultural heritage, and hospitable locals, inviting tourists to experience ‘Paradise on Earth’ anew.

Initial Challenges and Criticisms

Despite these efforts, the road to transformation was fraught with challenges. Restrictions on communication and movement in the early days post-abrogation raised concerns about the region’s stability and accessibility. Critics argued that real progress would require not just infrastructural development but also addressing long standing socio-political issues and engaging with local communities to build trust.

A New Beginning

As the dust settled, signs of normalization began to emerge. Schools reopened, tourism slowly picked up, and day-to-day life in J&K started returning to a semblance of normalcy. The government’s push for development, coupled with local and international interest in the region’s future, set the stage for a new chapter in J&K’s history.

The abrogation of Article 370, thus, served as a catalyst for change in Jammu and Kashmir. While it opened up opportunities for development and integration, the journey ahead requires balancing growth with addressing the region’s unique cultural and socio-political dynamics. The resurgence of tourism, supported by infrastructural development and peace initiatives, symbolizes hope for a prosperous future for J&K, promising to bring its beauty and vibrancy to the forefront once again.

Government Initiatives and Infrastructure Development

In the wake of the historic decision to abrogate Article 370, the Government of India has been steadfast in its commitment to transforming Jammu and Kashmir into a hub of development and prosperity. Central to this vision are the ambitious infrastructure projects aimed at not only enhancing the region’s accessibility but also its appeal to tourists and investors alike. These initiatives signal a robust effort to weave Jammu and Kashmir more integrally into the fabric of modern, interconnected India.

World’s Highest Railway Bridge

One of the most awe-inspiring projects underway is the construction of the world’s highest railway bridge over the Chenab River in the Reasi district. Surpassing even the iconic Eiffel Tower in height, this engineering marvel is poised to be a significant attraction in itself, besides being a crucial link in improving connectivity within the region. This bridge is not just a testament to India’s engineering prowess but also a beacon of hope for the economic revival of the region, promising to boost local tourism and create numerous job opportunities.

Asia’s Longest Tunnel – The Zojila Pass Tunnel

Complementing the lofty heights of the Chenab bridge is the strategic endeavor to construct Asia’s longest tunnel – the Zojila Pass Tunnel. This ambitious project aims to provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar and Leh, marking a monumental step towards integrating Ladakh with the mainland. Once notorious for its accessibility issues during winter months, the completion of this tunnel will ensure seamless travel, thereby significantly bolstering tourism and commerce in both Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh regions.

Srinagar and Jammu Metrolite Projects

Understanding the need for urban mobility solutions, the government has proposed the Srinagar and Jammu Metrolite projects. These light urban rail transit systems aim to decongest city traffic and provide a modern, efficient, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation for residents and tourists. By enhancing urban mobility, these projects are expected to facilitate easier access to tourist attractions, thereby promoting tourism and supporting the local economy.

Supporting Local Economies and Tourism

The strategic emphasis on infrastructure development in Jammu and Kashmir extends beyond mere connectivity. It is a comprehensive approach to stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities, and rejuvenate the tourism sector, which is the lifeline of the region’s economy.

Improved infrastructure not only makes Jammu and Kashmir more accessible to tourists but also enhances their travel experience, encouraging longer stays and more significant spending in the local economy.

Moreover, these projects exemplify the government’s commitment to integrating state-of-the-art technology and sustainability principles, ensuring that development proceeds hand in hand with environmental conservation. This careful balancing act promises to safeguard the region’s natural beauty, which is essential for its tourism appeal, while paving the way for modern infrastructure that meets the needs of its people and visitors.

The Resurgence of Tourism in Kashmir

The transformation of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) post the abrogation of Article 370 has been remarkable, particularly in the tourism sector. The government’s concerted efforts to enhance the region’s infrastructure and ensure stability have played pivotal roles in reviving and boosting tourism. The resurgence is not just anecdotal but is substantiated by impressive statistical evidence indicating a significant upswing in both domestic and international tourist visits.

Statistical Evidence of Growth in Tourism

The Ministry of Tourism’s data presents a compelling narrative of recovery and growth in the tourism sector of J&K. Prior to the abrogation of Article 370, the number of domestic and foreign tourists visiting J&K showed variability. However, post-abrogation, the region has witnessed a substantial increase in tourist influx. In 2019, the number of domestic tourist visits (DTVs) was recorded at 16,163,330.

This number dipped in 2020 due to the global pandemic but saw a dramatic rebound in 2022, with DTVs surging to 18,617,740. Similarly, foreign tourist visits (FTVs), which stood at 57,920 in 2019, decreased in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions but experienced a significant recovery, with 19,987 FTVs recorded in 2022, demonstrating a staggering 1111.3% growth over the previous year.

This upsurge in tourist numbers underscores the growing appeal of Kashmir as a premier travel destination, fueled by enhanced security measures, infrastructural improvements, and effective promotional campaigns that highlight the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Local Entrepreneurship and Employment

The revival of tourism has also spurred local entrepreneurship and employment, with new opportunities emerging across the hospitality, travel, and handicraft sectors. The emergence of over 100 new travel agents in the region, working with platforms like TripClap, underscores the local entrepreneurial spirit and the creation of job opportunities, reflecting a vibrant ecosystem of travel and hospitality services poised to cater to the growing influx of tourists.

International Recognition and Cultural Revival

Kashmir’s tourism boom has caught the attention of the international media, further validated by the successful hosting of the G20 tourism meet in Srinagar. This event not only showcased Kashmir’s stability and hospitality but also its rich cultural tapestry,

from traditional Ladishah storytelling to the exquisite craftsmanship of Pashmina shawls and walnut wood carvings. Such cultural exhibitions, alongside the government’s initiatives to promote film tourism and local handicrafts, contribute significantly to the region’s tourism appeal.

TripClap’s Contribution to Kashmir’s Tourism Ecosystem

In the backdrop of Kashmir’s tourism resurgence, TripClap has emerged as a pioneering platform, playing a pivotal role in reshaping the region’s tourism ecosystem. By seamlessly connecting travelers with local travel agents, TripClap has facilitated authentic and enriching travel experiences, contributing significantly to the growth of sustainable tourism in Kashmir.

Bridging Travelers with Local Experiences

TripClap serves as a dynamic bridge between eager travelers and the local experts of Kashmir, ensuring that each tour package not only promises an adventure but also a deep dive into the heart and soul of the region. This connection fosters a more intimate understanding and appreciation of Kashmir’s unique culture, heritage, and natural beauty, transforming standard trips into memorable journeys.

The platform’s intuitive design and user-friendly interface allow travelers to easily navigate through an array of tour packages, each tailored to cater to different interests, durations, and budgets. From the serene beauty of Dal Lake to the snowy vistas of Gulmarg, TripClap ensures that the diverse beauty of Kashmir is just a click away for anyone dreaming of exploring this paradise.

Showcasing Diverse Offerings

TripClap boasts a wide selection of tour packages for Kashmir, designed to cater to the varied preferences of travelers. Whether it’s adventure tourism with trekking and skiing, leisurely explorations of Srinagar’s Mughal gardens, spiritual journeys to the revered shrines, or the romantic allure of houseboat stays, TripClap’s offerings are as diverse as the landscape of Kashmir itself.

Challenges and Opportunities

The journey of reviving and scaling tourism in Kashmir, while marked by significant achievements, continues to navigate through a series of challenges. These hurdles, ranging from infrastructural to perceptual, are being addressed with strategic approaches by local stakeholders, including digital platforms like TripClap, which are playing a crucial role in shaping the future trajectory of tourism in the region.

Addressing Current Challenges

One of the primary challenges in scaling tourism in Kashmir involves ensuring consistent and all-season accessibility to various parts of the region. Despite the notable progress in infrastructure development, areas remain that require further connectivity enhancements to facilitate year-round tourism. Additionally, overcoming the residual perceptions of safety concerns among potential travelers stands as a significant challenge, necessitating continuous efforts in positive branding and communication.

Local stakeholders and platforms like TripClap are at the forefront of tackling these challenges. By offering diverse and comprehensive tour packages, TripClap ensures that travelers are well-informed about safety measures and the best times to visit different locales, thereby addressing concerns related to accessibility and safety.

Moreover, by highlighting the testimonials of past travelers and showcasing the warmth and hospitality of the local communities, TripClap helps in altering the narrative and perceptions surrounding tourism in Kashmir.

Leveraging Opportunities for Future Growth

The future of tourism in Kashmir looks promising, with ample opportunities for growth supported by ongoing infrastructure projects and the innovative use of digital platforms like TripClap. The completion of infrastructure projects such as the Srinagar Metrolite and the expansion of road and railway networks is expected to significantly boost tourist inflow by making remote and previously inaccessible areas reachable.

Digital platforms like TripClap serve as a catalyst for this growth by bridging the gap between the digital and physical realms of travel planning. By providing a platform for local travel agents to offer their services directly to a global audience, TripClap not only contributes to the local economy but also ensures that tourists receive authentic and

personalized experiences. The use of technology in enhancing the discoverability of lesser-known destinations within Kashmir can further diversify tourism offerings and reduce the pressure on traditionally popular sites.

Moreover, the focus on sustainable and responsible tourism practices, facilitated by platforms like TripClap, ensures that the growth in tourism does not come at the expense of Kashmir’s natural and cultural heritage. Promoting eco-friendly travel packages, encouraging cultural exchange, and supporting local conservation efforts are ways in which TripClap and other stakeholders can contribute to the long-term sustainability of tourism in the region.


The challenges in scaling tourism in Kashmir are matched by the vast opportunities that lie ahead. Through collaborative efforts between the government, local stakeholders, and digital platforms like TripClap, the region is poised to not only overcome these challenges but also to harness its full potential as a premier global tourist destination.

As infrastructure continues to improve and digital platforms make Kashmir more accessible to the world, the future of tourism in this beautiful region is bright, promising economic prosperity for its residents and unparalleled experiences for its visitors.

– Gaurav Kr Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, TripClap.

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