New Delhi: Kashmir witnessed an unprecedented influx of over 18,000 foreign tourists during the five months of 2023 , marking the highest figures seen in the past thirty years, officials announced on Monday.
The thriving execution of the G20 summit in the region has significantly amplified the fascination among travelers. Alongside visitors from countries in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, there has been a substantial surge in the number of nationals from Western nations like Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States exploring the beauty of Kashmir this season.
The upswing in inbound or foreign visitors is attributed by authorities to the triumph of the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting hosted in May.
“As the G-20 meeting was a grand success, the world saw our real tourism potential. The ambassadors, delegates, and high commissioners of G20 countries experienced the hospitality, warmth and flavour of Jammu and Kashmir,” Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Secretary, Department of Tourism and Culture, said as quoted by newswire PTI.
He said Jammu and Kashmir was one of the prime destinations across the globe a few decades ago in terms of leisure, adventure and spiritual tourism and hoped that it will again become one of the top tourist spots in the world.
While many were sceptical about holding a G-20 meeting in Jammu and Kashmir, deft handling by the team led by the chief coordinator for G-20 Harsh Shringla ensured that foreign delegations were reassured about security in Kashmir and the event sent out a bigger message to the world and reinforced Kashmir’s role as a key tourist destination boosting the local economy as Well
Shah also stated that the number of arrivals and bookings have tripled and occupancy rates have also increased.
According to a report from newswire PTI, Manzoor Ahmad Pakhtoon, the president of the Houseboat Owners’ Association, has revealed that the influx of foreign tourists in Kashmir this year has surpassed previous records.
Pakhtoon stated, “Compared to the past years, the numbers have doubled this year. While we received around 10,000 foreign tourists last year, the count has already exceeded 18,000 visitors from various corners of the globe by June this year.”