Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said the increase in tourist flow to the state should not be equated with normalcy even though the situation is increasingly getting better.
      
"Tourism and normalcy should not be equated. Tourism is not a barometer for normalcy, rather than it is a barometer for economy.
      
"The tourist flow is merely an economic activity and should be seen in that perspective only. Visiting of large number of tourists does not mean there is no larger problem in the state," the Chief Minister said.
    
Omar was addressing a seminar on "sustainable tourism-environment and infrastructure" at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre here.
    
Emphasising tourist-friendly approach, he said the situation is limping back to normal and the Valley is witnessing the same conditions as before militancy.
    
He said the state does not have any places of infrastructural marvels like Taj Mahal, Ajanta Elora caves or Lal Qila for tourists to visit, but is bestowed with natural beauty like rivers, lakes, mountains and religious places which sustain the tourism.
    
Omar said care must be taken while creating infrastructure in the state as the environs have to be kept safe, adding "a time will come when we have to focus on the quality of infrastructure rather than the volume of tourists."
    
"I do not want to encourage the tourist arrivals to the tune of 25-30 lakh. Yes, we want more tourists to visit the state and help in its economy and we are focusing on the volume right now. But after a few years we have to focus on the quality of infrastructure."

(Agencies)

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