Srinagar, Jan 31: Snow or no snow, the Tourism department is all set to woo more foreigners besides domestic tourists this year with an aim to breach last year’s 2.11 Crore tourist arrival figure. A series of steps are in the pipe-line that include mega events like Khelo-India, tourism promotion campaigns, national level conferences and foreign tours for stakeholders to lure international tourists.
In an exclusive chat, Commissioner Secretary Tourism Yasha Mudgal that Kashmir itself is a major attraction for domestic as well as foreign tourists.
“Many offbeat destinations are ready to host domestic as well as foreign tourists this year. Our primary aim is to bring more and more foreign guests to J&K this year. For that, many events are on cards,” she said.
Mudgal said that a series of tourism promotion events will be held in the months ahead. “We are organising mega tourism conferences at SKICC as well with an aim to give a new impetus to the tourism promotion,” she said.
The Commissioner Secretary Tourism said that the department is actively supporting the Khelo-India program besides other events at Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and other offbeat destinations. “We will be also taking the tour operators, travel agents and other stakeholders on foreign tours for international tourism promotion campaigns at global level,” she said.
Mudgal said that the department vows to breach last year’s 2.11 Cr tourist arrival figures. “This year, we hope to see more tourists than last year,” she said.
A tourism official said that off beat tourist destinations have attracted a large number of tourists last year while as LoC Tourism was also a major attraction for both foreign as well as domestic tourists.
“In the 2.11 Crore tourists last year, there were 55000 foreign guests as well. This year January month was lost as weather remained dry. Otherwise, in January, we would witness a large number of tourists from South East Asia,” the official said.
He said that all eyes are on the months of February and March as whatever snow remains intact will definitely attract tourists. “Given the mood of weather, it seems that there will be scorching heat across the globe in summers, while Kashmir may remain cool. So a good number of foreign as well as domestic guests are expected to visit Kashmir in the months ahead,” he said. “Hope to see a good tourist season in the ensuing year.”