A group of tourists from Australia today sought lifting of a negative travel advisory to Kashmir Valley by their country, saying Kashmiris were “very warm and most hospitable”. “If there is a travel advisory on Kashmir, then why is there no travel advisory on travelling to Mumbai or Delhi? Kashmir is more peaceful than those places as locals here are very warm and most hospitable. We feel as if we are roaming and travelling in our own place without any issue,” Garry Weare, who is leading the group of 13 tourists, said here. Weare, a prominent adventurer and author of many books who is on a familiarisation visit to the valley, said he wanted his country to lift the travel advisory to Kashmir and the aim of the visit here was to promote the place.
“Travel advisory on Kashmir is a misplaced regulation by many countries on their citizens. I will want our country to lift the advisory on Kashmir. I am bringing in tourists here so as to promote Kashmir and help in lifting travel advisory,” he said. Johan Bahnisch and his wife Allison Havvey, who are part of the group, were also delighted to have visited Kashmir for the second time after 1977. “People are as friendly as they were on our first visit. Nothing has changed,” Bahnisch said. Kashmir’s Director of Tourism Mahmmod Shah, who interacted with the Australian group members, assured them of all the assistance in the valley.
“We are happy many foreign tourists are now visiting Kashmir and they don’t pay heed to what is fed to them through some TV channels. Currently, we have a few foreign groups and they are really amazed at the hospitality and the warmth of the people,” Shah said. He said the department was planning to tap more foreign markets by organising roadshows and showing them the testimonials of how tourists were enjoying their stay in Kashmir.