Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy
Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy

SRINAGAR — More than 1.43 lakh tourists visited J&K in December 2021 and the number of tourists who visited J&K since September 2021 is over 72 lakh, the Tourism Ministry said on Thursday.

While replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of Tourism G Kishan Reddy, as per news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the winter season has witnessed 100 per cent occupancy of hotels in Srinagar and other tourist destinations.

He said that on June 28, 2021, the government announced a stimulus package to boost diverse sectors of the economy affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The package comprises a total of 17 measures in three broad categories, which include economic relief from pandemic with special focus on health and reviving travel and tourism sectors and impetus for growth and employment.”

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“The scheme will be subject to a maximum loan of Rs 10 lakhs each for Travel & Tourism stakeholders and up to rupees one lakh each for registered tourist guides. A Corpus of Rs 250 crore has been allocated under the scheme for a period of five years. Validity of the said scheme has been extended till 31-03-2023 or till the guarantee of Rs 250 crore is issued under the scheme, whichever is earlier. Since this is a Pan-India scheme, it is also applicable for the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh,” he added.

He said, “Domestic tourism is at its peak in the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. It is corroborated with the Budget speech of the Finance Minister while presenting the budget of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh for the year 2022-23. As per this, the Tourism sector is also registering an increase in the footfall of tourists.”

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“Around 1.43 lakh tourists visited Kashmir in December 2021 which is the highest in the last seven years. From September 2021 onwards, around 72.09 lakh tourists including pilgrim tourists visited Jammu & Kashmir which is much higher than the previous year. Winter season has witnessed 100% high-end hotel occupancy in Srinagar and at prominent tourist destinations, particularly Gulmarg and Pahalgam,” the minister added.

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