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Travel & Leisure

Kashmir's embattled travel industry enjoys a renaissance

Indians flock to 'paradise on earth' as COVID ebbs and security improves

Tourism typically accounts for 7% of Kashmir's economy.   © Reuters

SRINAGAR, India -- It has been a grueling three years for Riyaz Ahmad, whose brightly colored houseboat, decked out with ornate walnut-carved interiors, sits on the shimmering waters of Dal Lake. Choking up, he recalls how political turmoil and the pandemic kept tourists away these past three years, pushing him to the brink of starvation.

"I just don't want to go through that experience of helplessness and penury ever again," he says. "To feed my family, at times, I was forced to do odd jobs at just 500 rupees ($6.50) per day."

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