5.13 lakh tourists visit Kashmir till November

5.13 lakh tourists visit Kashmir till November
Photo: Aman Farooq/GK

Srinagar, Dec 3: Over 5.13 lakh tourists have visited Kashmir this year so far, while the highest number of tourist footfalls was recorded during the month of November.

As per the official figures accessed by Greater Kashmir over 5.13 lakh tourists have visited Kashmir till the end of November including 1317 foreigners.

November formed a major chunk of the year's arrivals as 1.27 lakh tourists visited during the month to Kashmir.

This is more than 75 percent to the total arrivals recorded last year. In 2020, when Kashmir region was under severe lockdown due to the pandemic, Kashmir recorded 41267 tourist arrivals.

The figure for last month has also surpassed the number of tourist arrivals recorded in November during the last seven years.

As per the official figures, 6,327 arrivals were recorded in November 2020 and 12,086 in the same month in 2019. A total of 33,720 tourist arrivals have been recorded in Kashmir in 2018 November, 1.12 lakh in 2017, 23,569 in 2016 and 64,778 in 2015 November.

The rush of tourists this November has been despite a spate of killings of non-locals in the valley earlier in October.

As seen last winter, the J&K administration and Kashmir's tourism stakeholders are looking forward to a renewed inflow of tourists.

They hope that events like snow carnivals, Christmas and new year will attract more tourists to Kashmir.

The tourism department has already taken several measures to ensure that the fear of the Covid-19 contagion doesn’t scare away the visitors. According to government data, over 80 percent of the Tourism service providers have been vaccinated and are safe to welcome travellers from far and wide.

As per tourism players, hotel occupancy has crossed 80 percent in Kashmir.

Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club, Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya said that the government as well as tourism players have worked tirelessly to promote Kashmir tourism. “ Tourism department along with travel trade associations, hoteliers have done massive promotional campaigns across the length and breadth of the country to woo tourists which has finally shown results. We are optimistic that in the coming months the tourist arrivals will further pick up.”

“Tourism players here have ensured vaccination of their staff, adherence of COVID appropriate behavior etc which has instilled confidence among tourists to visit Kashmir,” he said adding that "Kashmir is the safest destination to visit and its beautiful locales never fail to impress visitors.

Greater Kashmir