Tourism revival ignites surge in sales of Kashmir’s handicrafts

With the revival of tourism in the valley, the region’s handicrafts industry is experiencing a notable surge, signalling promising economic recovery and cultural resurgence. This revival in tourism has not only brought a sense of hope to local businesses but has also provided a significant impetus to the handicrafts sector, which has long been a cornerstone of Kashmir’s economy, reported Rising Kashmir.

As per news agency – Kashmir News Observer (KNO), artisans and craftsmen in Kashmir have been renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship for centuries, producing a wide array of traditional handicrafts such as intricately woven carpets, fine pashmina shawls, intricate wood carvings, and colourful papier-mâché artifacts.

The sector during the recent past suffered immensely with artisans switching to other trades to earn livelihood following reduced demand. With government’s initiatives and revival of tourism, the handicrafts sector has again thrived in Kashmir.

Mohammed Ali Bhat, a third-generation wood carving artisan in Srinagar, expressed his delight at the recent upswing in business. “For years, our livelihoods were affected by the decline in tourism. But now, with more visitors coming to Kashmir, we are seeing a steady increase in our sales of wooden items. It gives us hope for the future,” he remarked.

A number of authentic handicrafts outlets and showrooms have emerged in Kashmir during the last few years signalling the growth of the sector.

Junaid Ahmad Khan, a handicrafts showroom owner, said the tourism boom in Kashmir has scaled up the sales of handicrafts items at various tourist destinations of the valley.

“From Srinagar to Pahalagm and Gulmarg, we have witnessed that various authentic Kashmir handicrafts showrooms have emerged. Apart from that, small stalls are also being established by the locals to sell the handicrafts items to tourists. Flow of tourists has always proved beneficial for various businesses, be it handicrafts, transport and others,” he said.

The growth in the handicrafts sector has also been facilitated by efforts to promote Kashmiri crafts on digital platforms, allowing artisans to reach a wider audience beyond the confines of the region. E-commerce platforms and online marketplaces have provided a valuable avenue for artisans to showcase their creations and connect with customers worldwide, further fuelling the growth of the industry.

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