Buoyed by the report footfall of vacationers in the course of the first six months of this yr, the Jammu and Kashmir Government is exploring all prospects to develop the Union Territory because the “tourist capital” of India.
Jammu and Kashmir on the whole and Kashmir Valley, particularly, are witnessing a report of vacationers this yr. After a hunch of three years, J&Okay, in the course of the first six months of this yr, recorded the very best variety of vacationers within the final 20 years.
The increase has come as a ray of hope to get well losses of the previous three years, which was triggered by the February 2019 suicide assault in South Kashmir’s Pulwama killing round 40 CRPF personnel.
After the abrogation of Article 370, adopted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector was badly affected in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, issues took a constructive flip in January 2021 and adjusted the tourism sector when the national-level Winter Sports Khelo India Games had been held in picturesque Gulmarg Kashmir. Another facet that additional gave a lift to tourism was the unprecedented quantity of snowfall and several other Bollywood manufacturing homes capturing within the Valley.
One-crore vacationers visited J&Okay in six months: Minister
Union Minister for Tourism G Kishan Reddy stated over one crore vacationers have visited Jammu and Kashmir within the first six months of 2022.
The Minister advised the Parliament on July 31, “As a result of the initiatives taken by the J&K Government in private as well as government sectors, there has been a significant hike in the tourist footfall despite COVID challenges.”
In 2020, the vacationer footfall was 41,267, which has gone as much as 1.05 crore in the course of the first six months (January-June) of 2022.
“J&K has seen tourist flow in all seasons during the period. Most of them were high-end tourists, who have a good experience of quality services,” he stated.
“This high influx of tourists has, directly and indirectly, benefited the local people, including those living in far-flung areas, and has resulted in an investment of Rs 248.86 crore in the tourism sector, including hotels, guest houses, house boats, home stays or other services,” the minister stated.
The UT administration has additionally taken up a number of infrastructure developmental initiatives beneath varied Central-sponsored schemes with a complete allocation of Rs 683.45 crore prior to now three years, Reddy stated.
“More than 1,500 rooms have been registered in the hospitality sector since 2019 in addition to the registration of other service providers and a large number are in the process of registration,” he stated.
New initiatives for the tourism sector in J&Okay
Recently, J&Okay Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha chaired a high-level assembly to evaluate the brand new initiatives of the Tourism Department. The LG sought an in depth report on home-stays, establishing of tented lodging at main vacationer points of interest, journey actions, new trekking routes recognized, border tourism, and capacity-building programmes at varied ranges.
While reviewing the measures taken to advertise dwelling stays within the UT, the chair was knowledgeable that round 800 homestays are registered with the Tourism Department.
The Lt Governor directed Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez to submit a report on the variety of vacationers staying at these home-stays, and set the goal of enhancing the capacities of home-stays to 25,000 beds by thirty first December.
The tourism division was instructed to determine main vacationer points of interest the place tented lodging might be developed by a public-private partnership.
Since home-stays and tented lodging have gotten in style amongst home and international vacationers in addition to backpackers, the J&Okay authorities is making efforts to advertise tent stays at scenic areas that can ship speedy development to the tourism trade, added the Lt Governor.
It was knowledgeable that round 30 areas had been already recognized and the division was directed to make the tented colonies practical at these areas within the subsequent three months.
Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department gave an in depth presentation on the Activity Plan for 75 Offbeat Destinations recognized by the Tourism Department, that are being developed with correct infrastructure and requisite services for the vacationers.
The Lt Governor directed the officers to make sure public conveniences, utilities, parking services, sanitation services, cleanliness, signage, and bathroom items, in addition to actions for the vacationers in any respect vacationer locations.
The division was additional suggested to discover the potential for establishing pre-paid taxi counters at varied vacationer areas to deal with the problem of over-charging.
Reviewing the continuing works beneath the Capex funds of the Tourism directorate, the Lt Governor requested the division to undertake a result-oriented and outcome-based method on the starting stage for the efficient execution of the initiatives.
On Swadesh Darshan 2.0, it was knowledgeable that 5 Tourist Destinations, three in Jammu & two in Kashmir Division viz:- Wular Lake and adjoining areas, Tosamaidan-Doodhpathri, Surinsar-Mansar, Basohli-Sarthal, and Bhaderwah have been despatched to the Government of India.
Key highlights of J&Okay tourism info
- 79,15,536 vacationers visited J&Okay from October 2021 to March 2022.
- Passenger footfall at Srinagar airport in December 2021 was 3,24,415.
- Jammu airport recorded the very best passenger footfall in December 2021.
- Srinagar-Sharjah direct flight launched.
- Boost to Trade and Tourism.
- Easy cargo motion of horticultural produce.
- International cargo terminal arising in Srinagar.
- Night flight operations began from J&Okay.
- VAT on aviation turbine gasoline was lowered to 1%.
- Runway enlargement at Jammu Airport accomplished.
- 75 offbeat vacationer locations are being developed.
- Grand festivals like Houseboat competition, Sufi competition, Literary Festival, and varied different occasions are organised throughout J&Okay.
- All main vacationer locations remained open throughout winters.