Srinagar: Union Tourism Minister G Kishen Reddy Thursday said that for the first time after Independence, Jammu and Kashmir has recorded the arrival of two crore tourists up to November this year.
Replying to a query in the Parliament, Reddy said that for the first time after India’s Independence, Jammu and Kashmir has seen two crore tourist arrivals including foreigners up to November this year. “The figure is set to go up further by December end,” he said.
He said that there has been 155 per cent increase in the overall tourist arrivals in 2023 compared to 2021 and 2022. “85 lakh foreign tourists visited India this year so far,” he said.
The Union Minister said that Prime Minister Narendear Modi has played a huge role in showcasing India’s tourism potential and tourism Industry. “PM Modi has been the brand ambassador of India’s tourism industry. In his (PM’s) every foreign visit, Modiji showcased India’s huge tourism potential that attracted lakhs of tourists to India,” he said.
The Union Minister said G-20 meetings have played a great role in promoting India’s tourism. “The ambassadors rather than the representatives sent by over 30 countries were the cream of foreign countries. Almost 200 meetings of G-20 were held across India including one in J&K. The participants went back to their respective countries as ambassadors of tourism,” he said, adding that the Tourism Industry of India got a big push after a successful G-20 meeting this year.
Interestingly, Tourism officials in J&K believe that the G-20 Tourism Working Group meeting held in Srinagar in May this year helped lure a large number of foreign tourists to Kashmir. Official source said that this year upto November, almost 50,000 foreign guests visited Kashmir and the number went up after the successful G-20 summit in Srinagar.
On Wednesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, told the Parliament that J&K will surpass 2 Crore tourist arrivals this year and the previous record set by BJP will be broken by none other than BJP itself. A Tourism official said that exploring offbeat destinations, reviving film and border tourism, promoting home stays were some major steps taken by the Tourism department to lure large number of tourists this year to Valley