Amid heightened cross-border tension, which led to the closure of the Srinagar airport for civilian flights on Wednesday, hotels in the Kashmir valley have opened their doors to the stranded tourists, offering them free accommodation.
Several hoteliers and travel agents came to the rescue of the tourists as the Srinagar-Jammu national highway too remained mostly shut during the past few weeks.
“As tourists got stranded on Wednesday, we (Radisson group) offered free accommodation to them. We want to tell the tourists that they are our guests and we will make all efforts to make their stay comfortable. We also want to give a message to intending tourists that they are always welcome here and making their stay comfortable is our priority,” said J&K Hoteliers’ Club chairman Mushtaq Chaya, who also owns the Radisson group of hotels in the state.
Other tourism stakeholders too announced free accommodation to the stranded tourists at a time when the arrivals have remained on the lower side.
“We appeal to the tourists who are stranded in Srinagar to contact us so that we may facilitate their accommodation and food till the situation gets normal. Tourists are our guests and we shall open our hearts for them in these trying times,” said Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHARA) joint secretary general Mehboob Mir.
He said all hotels associated with KHARA would offer free accommodation to the stranded tourists till the airport starts functioning normally.
Meanwhile, Travel Agents’ Association of Kashmir secretary general Farooq Kuthoo took to Facebook to announce free accommodation. “In view of the tension between India and Pakistan, the stranded tourists in Kashmir can get in touch with me for any kind of support or assistance,” he posted.
A few private hotels too opened its doors to the stranded tourists — a move that was welcomed by all.
“Great job, guys. When I come to Kashmir one day, I’ll make it a point to stay at your hotel for sure. May your business boom in return for this lovely service you are offering to people. Stay blessed!” wrote Jazar Shahul from Kerela when ‘Hotel The Kaisar’ announced free accommodation.
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