Czech tourists, moved by Kashmir's natural beauty, said they would return
Nadia Farooq

“More international visitors are on the way to Kashmir,” they said. “Sgr is a beautiful city; the people, food, and weather are incredible; I was mesmerised by the beauty of Dal Lake; the Valley is truly an enchanted place.”

Srinagar, 4 July: A group of Czech tourists enjoying their first trip to Kashmir relax with glasses of fruit juice and traditional Kashmiri Khewa at a bustling eatery in Lal Chowk. The party was disappointed that they could only spend three days in Srinagar, but they promised to return for a longer vacation soon so that they could better appreciate the valley’s natural splendour.

Friends who often travelled to Kashmir were the primary source of our information on the region. We went to Srinagar for no apparent reason. Our time away is limited to only three days this time. Michieli, a female traveller and group leader, mentioned that they planned to visit Dharamshala the next day (Wednesday). I’m the team leader since I’m the only one who can communicate effectively in English… Laughs!”


The beauty of Srinagar, particularly Dal Lake, she claimed, captivated the party throughout their brief three-day stay in the Valley. It’s a gorgeous lake, for sure. The party members swam and rode shikaras around the lake for fun and exploration.

Despite Srinagar’s appearance as a modern metropolis, Michieli noted that the city suffers from heavy congestion. There’s a lot of potential for growth. She went on to say that by improving traffic flow and strategically placing fountains and other tourist attractions, the city might draw in much more visitors. When asked how the party thinks about Kashmir’s beauty, she stated that due to time constraints, they wouldn’t be able to see much during their three-day visit. “We went to a handful of different locations, but we spent the vast majority of our time in and around Dal lake,” she said. Michieli and the others in her tour group said, “They will come again for a long trip,” when asked whether they thought additional European tourists were on the way. Perhaps for a period of two weeks, or ten days. There is natural beauty here.

Michieli and her companions are now holed up at a Boulevard hotel. “Next time, we will stay in a houseboat and travel all over Kashmir,” she remarked with a grin. When asked how they felt about the successful G-20 Tourism Working Group conference that took place in Srinagar in May of this year, Michieli pretended not to be aware of the event. As for the G-20 summit in Srinagar, I heard very nothing. “If it did happen, that’s a positive step,” she said.

According to one of the men in the group, the number of European tourists wanting to visit Kashmir this year is expected to increase. Some of our close pals can’t wait for their upcoming trips. He predicted that this year will see a rise in the number of international visitors. When asked how the weather was, he said, “we are happy,” despite the fact that it was somewhat warm. Specifically, he lauded Kashmiri culture and cuisine. He grinned as he praised the warmth and deliciousness of the locals.

It’s worth noting that numerous nations have issued warnings against their nationals visiting Kashmir. After Article 370 was repealed in 2019, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia issued new travel warnings advising their people against visiting Kashmir. Nonetheless, travel companies, as well as the government, were holding out hope for the arrival of visitors from South East Asian Countries (SEAC) this year. According to the government’s numbers, the number of international visitors to Kashmir increased from previous year to over 15,000 this year. Kashmir’s travel industry and the UT government are optimistic due to an increase of visitors from Europe.

This is really encouraging news. A tourism department official informed J&K’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday that they anticipate a considerable increase in international visitor arrivals in Kashmir this year as a result of the G-20 conference being held in Srinagar. The UT government expects 2.08 million more visitors to Kashmir this year than they did in 2017.



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