The Linkage between Tourism and Economic Development and Implications for Kashmir

The Linkage between Tourism and Economic Development and Implications for Kashmir
  • 1

There are many destinations in Kashmir which are rarely known to the rest of the world. It is high time to embark upon the journey to an altogether new Mouj Kashir which is full of unvisited, virgin places. Let us invite the world so that it will come to know how heavenly this heaven on earth is. Bangus (Handwara), Chatpal (Anantnag), Daksum (Bhringi river valley), Karnah (Kupwara), Warwan (Kishtwar), Watlab (Sopore-Bandipora road), Gurez (86 km from Bandipora), Tulail, Bhaderwah (Doda). These are tourist attractions in Katra as well like Charan Paduka, Bhairo Mandir, and Geeta Mandir (India Travel & Tourism Blog).

Each and every part of Kashmir is a treat and a delight for the eyes. Apart from the conventional selected tourist destinations we have so many unexplored, unvisited, and virgin tourist places like Lolab valley in Kupwara which consists of many beautiful villages like Chandigam, Warnow, Sogam, Devar, and so on.

The entire Lolab valley is overwhelming and breath-taking. Allama Iqbal has mentioned about Lolab valley in one of his poems. Tral is full of Tourism potential. Shikargah, Aripal and Satoora in Tral have huge tourism prospects. Shopian is also full of tourist places. We have the Mughal road leading to Rajouri where glittering streams flow along the roadside. There are different points along the Mughal road like Dubjan, which is a Sulphur spring, and Pir Ki Gali.There are places like Gurez, Tosamaidan, Yousmarg, Dodpathri, Daksum, Sinthan Top, Preng, Drang, Drass and so on which need a big push (here, large investments in tourism) so as to lead towards the path of economic development. The natural areas become major attractions and constitute the basis for what is known as Nature or Eco-Tourism (Deivamani, 2003).

Tourism is one of the most valuable attributes of economic growth and development of an economy. It is directly dependent on the needs of all those services that satisfy the basic needs of the tourists. Every economy tries to maximize the returns of economic activities in which it is involved. Whatever be these the organizing principles of an economy, economic activities are broadly classified into three broad categories which are known as the three sectors of an economy: primary, secondary and tertiary or service sector. In the present day times, tourism has been recognized as the main component of the service sector which includes all those economic activities where different ‘services’ are produced such as education, banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, and so on.

Tourism is a regular feature of international trade and constitutes a major component of it. The graph of the growth rate of tourism is increasing at an increasing rate and is much higher than that of tangible goods. It is a significant component of national economies and their integration with the world economies viz. globalization, a vital source of foreign exchange earnings, income, output, and employment, instructive, educational, technical, logical, scientific, and artistic advantages (Mc Kean, 1977).

The demand for tourism is highly dependent upon the environment. In fact, environmental endowments attract tourist inflow to a great extent. It is very unfortunate that most of the developing countries are unable to achieve an optimal outcome/return. Most of the physical infrastructure services under tourism have characteristics or qualities of the public good. Some tourism products have both characteristics of public good-non-excludability and non-rivalry, and some have one or the other. The tourists may be charged for these services or they may be supplied free of cost.

But, even when they are supplied against a price, it is not all the time possible to exclude those tourists who choose not to pay for them. Moreover, tourism creates externalities- both positive externality as well as a negative externality. When the social benefit of the tourism services far exceeds the cost involved in their making then it creates positive externality and vice versa which makes it difficult to market these services so as to recover the costs. And , the existence of externalities particularly in the arena of social welfare has created a dominant position for the public sector in general and tourism in particular in production and distribution of infrastructure services which have some innate qualities due to which it is very difficult for more than one seller to exist in one location thereby generating monopolies.

Investment in tourism infrastructure, whether social or physical, is not undertaken in bits or parts but a lump-sum investment under which any expenditure on a part of the project is not useful until the whole project is ready for operations. And, this lump-sum investment, in turn, is the result of indivisibilities which is a characteristic feature of most infrastructure projects under tourism and its allied sectors. There are certain things which cannot be separated or put off as far as the development of the tourism industry is concerned.( For example, Social Overhead Capital (SOC)). We cannot divide and sub-divide SOC projects in tourism in small parts and activate them. Hence, they are indivisible. Minimum tourism industry mix of different tourism utilities is required. It is helpful for various industries and not only the tourism industry, thereby making them symbiotic. Investment in indivisibilities is necessary for paving way for growth and development of a tourism industry.

Development is highly correlated with tourism. Every country encompasses a series of welfare and tourism development works in the form of physical, social, and tourism infrastructure services so as to bring positive changes in the economy, improve standards of living and quality of life of its citizens, in general, and tourism , in particular. The role of tourism cannot be neglected as far as growth and development of a nation is concerned. In the entire process of growth and development, tourism plays a major role. Good infrastructure is essential for the development of tourism industry; and that inclusive and rigorous economic and tourism related policies, concrete tourism institutions responsive to the needs of the tourists are the basis for sustained economic growth of tourism industry, alleviation of poverty and employment creation.

Tourism , if properly managed , confers benefits in terms of social, psychological, and economic wellbeing. Travel and tour enhance the quality of human experience spiritually and materially (Krippendorf, 1987). The tourism and development link is important not only for economic growth and development, the creation of local as well as global tourism and tourism innovations in important sectors of the economy but also for eco-tourism. The development of better infrastructure is a vital factor for the sustained growth of tourism industry. Jammu and Kashmir is underdeveloped, having poor infrastructure and unemployed and has underemployed resources, therefore, it must invest judiciously in the development of infrastructure so as to generate income, raise the output or productive capacity in the economy in the short-run and long-run, and develop its tourism potential. The Jammu and Kashmir State must correct its bad political economy so that it can take advantage of its backbone viz. undoubtedly tourism. We need to make tourism a mass movement by following a five-point strategy encompassing a public-private model of tourism in marketing and infrastructure development, theme-based tourism advertising and campaigning, and timely implementation of plans (Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2003).

Krippendorf, J. (1987). The Holiday Makers. London: Heinemann.
Mc Kean, Philip. (1977). Towards a Theoretical Analysis of Tourism: Economic Dualism and cultural involution in Bali Hosts & Guests. The Anthropology of Tourism. Valene L Smith (Eds). Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania.
India Travel & Tourism Blog. N.d. 10 Lesser Known Places to Visit in Kashmir. Retrieved from s
Chamber of Commerce and Industry. (2003).“Make Tourism a Mass Movement”. The Hindu Business Line, Kochi, 28th September 2003, p.7.
Deivamani, (2003), “A Profile of Tourism Development in Tamil Nadu” (ed.) Dr. Dhulasi Birundha, Environmental Challenges towards Tourism, Kaniskha Publisher, Distributors, New Delhi.

The author is a Research Scholar at the Department of Economics, Central University of Kashmir an Academic Counsellor at the IGNOU STUDY CENTRE 1209, S.P. College, Srinagar; and an Editor in EPH – International Journal of Business and Management Science & Asian Journal of Managerial Science. She is also an Ezine Articles Expert Author and IJRULA title awards, 2018 winner (Best Researcher, 2018). She can be reached at: