Vol (16), Issue (1), 2023.

Unlocking Kashmir's Tourism Potential: Examining Challenges and Intersecting Opportunities with the Freedom Movement

Qadar Bakhsh Baloch, Syed Naseeb Shah, Samra Kiran, Sourath Mahar.

Mir Chakar Khan Rind University, Sibi

Abasyn University Peshawar

Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University Peshawar

University of Sialkot

This research study aims to explore and unlock the Azad Kashmir's diverse tourism potential, identifycontemporary challenges and unfold impact of tourism development upon the ongoing Kashmir freedom movement across the region. The descriptive research is predominantly based on secondarysources of the data, observations and experiences from personnel field visits in the area, andinteractive sections with the tourism professionals, destination managers, communityrepresentative and the tourism bodies operating in the area. The study unveiled diversity of tourismenriched with natural splendor, socio-cultural heritage, adventure, spiritual sites, and dark tourismdestinations. Study identified challenges in the development of tourism potential include; lack ofinfrastructure including rudimentary road network, lack of accommodations, nonexistent ofentertainment facilities, security concerns and quality of tourism services. The study endorsed thatbesides offering socio-economic benefits, tourism development in Azad Kashmir positivelycontributes in fostering international focus on the Kashmir dispute, sympathetic consideration for itssolution, and reinforces consciousness and openings for advocacy about the conflict resolution. Thestudy offers recommendations for improvement and policy implications for transforming tourismthrough sustainable practices. The study suggested stockholders collaboration and public privatepartnerships to improve tourism infrastructure, security mechanism, and community involvement toenable the existing diversity of tourism attractive and rewarding for all in near future.
Keywords: Tourism potential, Kashmir, Tourism diversity, challenges & opportunities, implicationsfor freedom movement.




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