The trending video on Kashmir, Warmest Place on Earth, is the state's attempt at doing away with the negative portrayal of Kashmir. The video, which was first screened in Srinagar in front of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, attempts to show the diversity and the beautiful landscape of the state.
Though such initiatives are common in other states of India, for Kashmir and its tourism department, it was a first of its kind. The video was released on Facebook with a post that said,
We present to you the most stunning feature of Kashmir. No! It’s not about the snowy peaks, gurgling streams and winding treks. Watch this moving film till the end, to discover and celebrate a different side of Kashmir, the #WarmestPlaceOnEarth.
Warmest Place on Earth runs for five minutes with a song written by Shah Faesal, an Indian Administrative Service officer. On the one hand, the video captures the essence of Kashmir and its beauty. On the other hand, it is also about the people of Kashmir, their goodness and hospitality. According to Hindustan Times, the state's tourism minister, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, said,
The positivity and warmth in Kashmir is not highlighted by national media – perhaps good news is not news. This film captures one of the countless heartwarming stories of hospitality that you will find in Kashmir.
Kashmir has always been one of the favourite tourist spots for travellers not just from India but across the world. Back in 1988, the number of tourists that came to Kashmir was 7 lakh. However, after the armed violence began, this number started to drop dramatically. Still, tourism contributes to eight percent of the state's GDP and the video aims at reviving tourism.
In less than 72 hours of its release, the video had drawn more than 3 million views. In an interview with The Indian Express, the tourism minister said,
We have put in our honest effort to counter the negativity being portrayed about Kashmir. Some kind of buzz has been generated and we hope it translates into the arrival of tourists to Kashmir. We hope tourists will again come to Kashmir.