Foreign tourists footfall increase by 300%, 55000 foreigners visit J&K last year: Govt

Secy Tourism says exploring entertainment industry to promote J&K tourism worldwide

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Srinagar: The footfall of foreign tourists have increased by nearly 300 per cent as a total of 55000 tourists from outside the country visited Jammu and Kashmir last year while the government said that it was exploring the entertainment industry to promote Jammu and Kashmir tourism worldwide.

Secretary Tourism, Yasha Mudgal said the department is eyeing music concerts and other forms of entertainment in Jammu and Kashmir to attract tourists.

“Jammu and Kashmir tourism is achieving newer heights every year with numbers increasing in the form of domestic and international tourists. So, through entertainment industry, we are promoting the tourism of the union territory. The focus is to give all kind of experience to the tourists visiting here from different corners of the world,” she said on the sidelines of a music concert organised by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism in collaboration with Big FM.

The tourism department and Big FM roped Fame Gurukul fame Qazi Touqeer, who belongs to city Khanyar area.

The secretary tourism said the department is planning more such concerts by roping local artists and celebrities. “Today our main artist was Qazi Touqeer who is an inspiration for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. So, through such events we are giving a stage ot our local artists while promoting the tourism of Jammu and Kashmir,” she added.

Mudgal said the department’s Sunburn music festival in Jammu proved success as tourists from different regions attended it.

“People from Chennai and other parts had come to attend the festival. So, the idea is to make much such collaborations in future. Tourism, apart from agriculture, is a contributor to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. So, efforts are being made to further imp[rove the flow of tourist to Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.

The secretary tourism said that infrastructure is being developed to make Jammu and Kashmir a world-class tourist destination. “Last year, we witnessed an increase of 300 per cent in the foreign tourist arrivals as 55000 tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir. So, Gulmarg, which is the main attraction for foreigners and domestic tourists, is being developed as world-class skiing destination. Pahalgam and Patnitop is also being promoted. Equal thrust is being given to alpine lakes and other unexplored areas,” she said.

Pertinently, Kashmir this year is again breaking records of receiving maximum tourists as hal;f a million visitors visited Kashmir till mid-May.

As such the government has launched a blitzkrieg to promote the offbeat and unexplored destination of Kashmir.

Currently, the Centre is promoting Jammu and Kashmir under its ‘Cool Summers of India’ campaign.

Under the ‘Cool Summers of India’ campaign, the ministry has, in consultation with respective state governments and Union territories, picked over 50 destinations and efforts are on to actively promote them as tourist attractions—(KNO)

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