Foreign tourists influx increased by 2.5 times since G20 meeting

Foreign tourists influx increased by 2.5 times since G20 meeting


JAMMU, Jan 26: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday said that tourism was a way of life for Jammu and Kashmir and reflects elevated spiritual experiences that contribute massively to the local economy.

 “This paradise on earth witnessed a record influx of Rs. 2.11 crore tourists during the year 2023, and the G20 Summit held in Srinagar in May, 2023 led to a 2.5 times increase in the arrival of foreign tourists,” he said.

Apart from popular tourist destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam, he said, there was a significant influx of tourists in offbeat destinations, contributing to the strengthening of the local economy.

In places like Shiv Khori, 2 million tourists visited last year, 1.05 million in Mansar-Surinsar, 1 million in Patnitop, 1 million in Dudhpathri, and 0.15 million in Lolab, he said.

After granting industry status to the tourism sector, he said, investment in this sector has seen “enormous” growth.

 “These initiatives testify the comprehensive development and progress of various sectors in Jammu and Kashmir, contributing to the well-being of its residents and the overall prosperity of the region,” he said.

Pilgrimage to Amarnath and Mata Vaishno Devi, he said, with the highest number of devotees, showcases the deep spiritual connection of “our holy places with the entire nation”.

 “Apart from off-beat tourism destinations, revival of tourism in border areas has strengthened the local economy,” he said, adding, “Last year, over 10 lakh tourists utilized the Gulmarg Gondola, generating revenue of over Rs. 100 crores.”

Shooting permission has been granted to more than 300 films, web series, and music videos, he said. “The International Film Festival of India held in Goa last November was a major attraction for film producers and directors from around the world, showcasing Jammu and Kashmir as a prime film-making destination.”

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