Srinagar, Oct 07: A record 1.62 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir so far this year, which is the highest since independence, an official said here on Thursday, adding it testifies the overall development and change the Union Territory has witnessed.
After three decades, Kashmir is attracting lakhs of tourists which tourism players say is the return of golden era of Kashmir tourism, the spokesman said.
He said the record number of tourists visiting Jammu and Kashmir underlines the overall development and change that has taken place in the Union territory.
Tourism is the biggest source of employment in Jammu and Kashmir and since January, 2022 till date, 1.62 crore tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir, which is the highest in 75 years of independence, the spokesman said.
A record-breaking 20.5 lakh tourists, including 3.65 lakh Amarnath yatris, visited Kashmir in the first eight months of this year, drawing visitors from all over the nation to the gorgeous and picturesque Valley, he said.
The two million tourists represent an all-time high tourist footfall for Kashmir valley. Tourist sites like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, and Sonamarg as well as all hotels and guesthouses in Srinagar experienced 100 percent occupancy, he said.
Tourism has generated maximum employment in various regions of Jammu and Kashmir including Poonch, Rajouri, Jammu and the Kashmir Valley, he said.
The spokesman said a comprehensive Film Policy was launched to attract film-makers for shooting after decades and within a year of notification of this policy, as 140 shooting permissions for films and web-series have been issued.
Soon, a film studio will be launched with state-of-art facilities. This, besides providing new opportunities to the young talent of Jammu and Kashmir, shall boost the business ecosystem of the Union territory, he said.
Despite setbacks faced due to Covid pandemic, the UT administration has taken sufficient steps for the revival of tourism in J-K and for providing employment to individuals associated with the sector, the spokesman said.
A number of policy interventions have been made to provide financial support to various stakeholders associated with tourism sector, he said.