Srinagar, Nov 14: Breaking all records, Kashmir is on the brink of surpassing its previous year’s tourism figures, with nearly 21 lakh tourists gracing the Valley from January to September this year.
The surge in tourism comes on the heels of a challenging period marked by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which severely impacted the tourism industry worldwide including Kashmir’s hospitality sector.
According to an RTI reply filed by MM Shuja, the Tourism Department of Kashmir disclosed that 20.9 lakh tourists, including 27,292 foreigners, have visited Kashmir in the first three quarters of 2023.
This promising statistic has outpaced the tourist numbers recorded in the same period in 2022 when over 26.3 lakh visitors explored the picturesque landscapes of Kashmir.
Delving into the monthly breakdown, the Tourism Department revealed that January saw 1,24,579 tourists, including 1,23,136 domestic and 1,443 foreign visitors. February continued the trend with a total of 1,28,637 tourists, comprising 1,25,784 domestic and 2,853 foreign tourists.
March witnessed a further increase, recording 1,66,587 tourists, of which 1,63,233 were domestic and 3,354 were foreigners. April experienced a substantial influx with 2,01,713 tourists, including 1,97,132 domestic and 4,581 foreign tourists.
May saw an impressive spike, welcoming over 3 lakh tourists, with 3,02,827 visitors, including 3,01,138 domestic and 1,689 foreigners. June continued the upward trend with a staggering 4,36,734 tourists, with 4,34,836 being domestic and 1,898 foreign visitors. July attracted 3,39,318 tourists, with 3,35,388 domestic and 2,930 foreign visitors. August and September sustained the momentum, with 1,97,299 and 2,00,281 tourists, respectively, marking a successful tourism season for Kashmir.
The air arrivals contributed significantly to this upswing, with a total of 9,31,299 domestic tourists and 26,812 foreigners choosing air travel to explore the beauty of Kashmir. As the tourism sector flourishes, the valley anticipates a continued revival in its hospitality and economy, showcasing resilience and adaptability in the face of global challenges.