Only 1.3 million tourists visited Kashmir in 2017. This is the lowest since 2011.
According to a report in Kashmir Reader, the total number of tourists was 73 lakh; out of which, more than 57 lakh were Vaishno Devi pilgrims, 2.6 lakh Amarnath Yatris. Leaving aside the pilgrims, only 13 lakh tourists, which include both foreigners and Indians, visited Jammu & Kashmir.
A similar ratio of pilgrims to tourists has been recorded in the preceding years, with pilgrims increasing in comparison to tourists.
As per the survey numbers, the maximum tourists in the past six years came in 2012, about 1.25 crore, followed by 1 crore in the subsequent year. In 2014, the year that floods ravaged the Valley in September, more than 95 lakh tourists visited the state.
A report prepared on the impact of Amarnath Yatra has shown that Amarnath pilgrims make the least contribution to Kashmir’s economy in the tourism sector.
Kashmir sees more Indian tourists than foreigners also because of travel advisories issued by different countries during the 1990 insurgency, which have still not been lifted.
The state could not attract tourists despite the tourism department launching several initiatives to revive tourism. The department has run advertisements on TV channels, organised road shows, hosted actors, singers and film festivals in Kashmir, but their effect has not been the desired one.
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