Srinagar, Aug 02: Union Minister Nityanand Rai informed Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that tourist arrivals in Jammu and Kashmir have seen an unprecedented surge due to policy initiatives and increased infrastructure spending, with 1.88 crore tourists in 2022 (compared to 1.13 crore in 2021) and 1.10 crore tourists in the first half of 2023 (including 16,423 foreign visitors, which is approximately four times more than the previous corresponding figure).
The Union minister in a written reply to a question said that the government has notified Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Policy, 2020 to promote investments in the tourism sector. The policy aims to make J&K most preferred all-season tourist destination for domestic and foreign tourists; to attract investment and to generate local employment, he said as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO)
About Film Policy 2021, he said that J&K has always been a preferred film destination. “More than 400 permissions are issued to Production Houses for shooting of movies, web series, documentaries and music videos after the issuance of Film Policy in 2021 which provides ease of filming through a single window clearance system,” he said.
He also said that the grant of industry status to the tourism sector has resulted in private investment. “Night landing facility at Jammu and Srinagar airports has increased the travel comfort of the tourists by providing extended travel time windows to them,” the minister added.
He further said that the policy initiatives together with increased spending on infrastructure have resulted in unprecedented increase in the number of tourists (over 1.88 crore in the calendar year 2022, as against 1.13 crore in the year 2021). In the calendar year 2022, 26.73 lakh tourists have visited the Kashmir Valley, which is more than double the previous highest recorded so far.
“During the current calendar year 2023 (Jan-June), 1.10 crore tourists have visited the UT of J&K so far, out of which 16,423 foreign tourists have visited the UT of J&K which is approximately 4 times more than the previous figure of 4,411 in the corresponding period,” he added.
He also said that the Wellness centre at Mantali at a cost of Rs. 80.00 crore is completed with facilities such as huts, spa, yoga centre, meditation centre, helipad etc. to promote Wellness Tourism—(KNO)