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Unjustified rise in hotel rates, taxi service making visiting Kashmir expensive: Travel Agents – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism

Kashmiri travel agents during a protest in Srinagar on Friday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, May 13: Travel agents in Kashmir today alleged that hoteliers have exponentially increased hotel rates besides providing maximum inventory to online portals and outside companies, while several other stakeholders made Kashmir an expensive destination.
In this regard, travel agents staged a protest at the Press Enclave to protest against what they said were unethical business practices by hoteliers and other service providers in the tourism industry. .
The protest was held under the banner of the Joint Travel Industry Coordinating Committee to highlight unfair trade practices and government inaction to stem the threat which they say is giving a bad image to the Kashmir hotel sector .
Speaking on the occasion, spokesperson for the coordination committee, Farooq Ahmad Kuthu, said that hoteliers had increased hotel rates disproportionately by 200-300%, in addition to providing maximum inventory to portals in online and outside businesses, leaving local travel agents dry and with limited business opportunities.
“Local travel agents are unable to book the packages as most of the hotels have been sold to outside companies which are not even registered with the Jammu and Kashmir tourism department,” he said. he declares.
The protester alleged that the widespread hoarding of hotel rooms, profiteering and black marketing by some hoteliers and online travel portals have wreaked havoc on the tourism industry.
“Tourist taxi operators have also arbitrarily increased fees, making Kashmir not only an expensive destination, but many beautiful resort areas have become unaffordable for ordinary tourists,” Kuthu said.
To resolve the issues, he said, tour operators held a series of meetings with hoteliers and government authorities to expose the mafia, “but the government’s inaction disappointed them”.
Protesters said there was an impressive rush of tourists to Kashmir, but it was benefiting everyone except local travel agents. “It appears that the hoarding and black marketing mafia has a hidden agenda to deprive local travel agents of business opportunities.”
Kuthu said the government had formed a coordination committee to resolve the issues “but nothing happened as rampant black marketing, hoarding continues”.
The protesters, in addition to demanding the categorization of hotel rates, also called for regulation of tourist taxi fares and fees, while stating that tourists are transported in private vehicles, as the government has banned the issuance of new permits. vehicle to tour operators.
“Due to the huge crowd, we no longer have tourist taxis. We had applied for permits from registration authorities so that travel agencies could bring in new taxis to meet demand.

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