Tourism and Socio-economic Development in Developing Regions: A Case Study of Kashmir

Ummar Ahad


Tourism is considered a major tool of economic development round the globe and in the recent decades it has proved its potential by emerging as the fastest growing industry, contributing about 9% to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Jammu and Kashmir also known as the “Paradise on Earth” is among the most important tourist destinations of the world. This paper looks at issues surrounding sustainable tourism as a tool for local socio-economic development in Kashmir. It is estimated that almost 40-45% of total population of J&K is directly and/or indirectly engaged in tourism related activities. Tourism contributes about 15% to State Gross Domestic Product. Despite being a leading industry of J&K, concrete steps of its economic impact on state are still lacking. Emphasis will be put on causes/strengths like rich heritage and culture, great hospitality and beautiful landscape among the likewise which act as architects in the economic development of J&K. The purpose of this study will be to provide some feasible suggestions based on the findings which may prove valuable for the future development of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.

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