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Tourism and Softening Borders in J&K

This project is a follow up an earlier project that the Institute undertook in 2008 titled - Kashmir Dispute: Making Borders Irrelevant.

Undertaken by four scholars, two each from India and Pakistan, this project aims to answer the following questions: 

#How might tourism development exacerbate conflict dynamics and tensions?  How can the tourism industry be developed in such a way as to avoid igniting tensions, but rather to increase confidence between India, Pakistan, and the Kashmir region, and in a way that can promote conflict management? Which sectors in particular would need to be constructively engaged in sustainable and conflict-sensitive tourism development?

# What were the patterns of tourism (travel routes) with statistics (if available) in Kashmir before Partition; this might be separately compiled for the five sub-regions involved—Jammu, the Valley, Ladakh, AJK and the Northern areas/ Baltistan. Are any available for tourist traffic into Tibet and Central Asia?

# Should tourism and cross-LOC travel become easier, is it likely that the old patterns (travel routes) would be utilized? Would any alternative patterns (travel routes) developed after Partition gain ascendancy? What are/ would be the political and commercial implications of this situation?

# Can “package tourism” be developed covering both sides of the LOC, as a means to promote travel across the LoC for Indian and Pakistani citizens inside and outside of the Kashmir region, as well as for international citizens?

# What are the infrastructural requirements that should be minimally and ideally created to promote cross-LOC tourism? Specifically, what are the road networks and communication facilities that need upgrading and improvement? What kinds of training institutions are required to provide qualified personnel for an expanded tourism industry in Kashmir?

# What are the final recommendations possible to broadly reflect what is acceptable to both countries and to the Kashmiri populations for promoting tourism to soften the LOC and channel India- Pakistan relations into salubrious directions?

This project is funded by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).


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