SRINAGAR: The Valley hoteliers and tourism players are apprehensive that expiry of special Leave Travel Concession (LTC) on air travel granted to central government employees visiting Kashmir may pull down the tourist flow, requesting New Delhi to extend the scheme.
The last extension for this special LTC that was granted four years ago, ended Tuesday had been quite beneficial for boosting tourism in the valley.
“The move has helped the tourism industry in many ways and we are hopeful that the central government extends this the relaxation to our state,” Faiz Bakshi, prominent hotelier told Kashmir Reader.
Under the scheme, that expired Tuesday, all the categories of central government could travel in ‘Economy Class” to Jammu and Kashmir by air, using any airline service.
“This year we witness that tourist flow is better and many central government employees are among the lead travelers visiting Kashmir, significantly enhancing tourism here. Now we want state government to approach New Delhi to get it extended at Delhi,” Bakshi said.
Under the LTC three million central employees can visit and travel the tourist destinations across India along with their families, but the concession apart from Jammu and Kashmir would allow reimbursement only for train or bus fares.
This relaxation was devised by New Delhi to boost the tourism industry here.
Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir (ATOAK), Rauf Tramboo seconded Bakshi’s remarks and said the Valley is in of need such concessions from the government in order to put the Kashmir back on tourism map both at domestic as well as international level.
Tramboo too felt the need of the hour that state government should take up this matter at the earliest with counterparts in New Delhi for its extension.