Post Art 370, J&K witnesses surge in domestic tourists
Following the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A on August 5, 2019, there has been a quantum jump in the number of domestic tourists heading to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. However, there has been a corresponding steep decline in the number of foreign tourists visiting to the Union Territory of Ladakh.
In response to query made by Kochi-based activist K Govindan Nampoothiry under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, ministry of tourism deputy secretary Kiriti Gaikwad revealed that around 1,61,63,330 domestic tourists and 57, 920 foreign tourists had visited J&K in 2019.
Similarly, 24,98,141 domestic tourists and 5,056 foreign tourists visited the UT from January 1 to July 15.
However, only 2,41,285 domestic tourists and 38,652 foreign tourists visited Ladakh in 2019. This year, till July 15, 5,019 domestic and 1,060 foreign tourists visited the region.
Nampoothiry said, “The surge of domestic tourists in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 is a positive sign. It proves the Union government’s strategic move is leading the UT in the right direction and it has started reaping the benefits. The administration of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), now, should take steps to unlock breathtaking tourist destinations to the public, promote them in domestic as well as in foreign arenas and brand J&K tourism. This will definitely pave the way for economic development in J&K by attracting investments, companies and creating employment opportunities for locals.”
He, however, agreed that the steep decline in the number of tourists visiting Ladakh was cause for concern.
‘Tension along LAC responsible for dip in visitors to Ladakh’
“The tense situation at the LAC might be the primary reason for fall in visitors to the region, apart from Covid but the Union government should take effective steps to resolve the matter as most locals earn their bread and butter through tourism. The matter requires immediate intervention and solution,” he added.
After the BJP government revoked Article 370 and 35-A on August 5 last year, the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two UTs-- Ladakh without legislature and J&K with legislature.
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