Tourism Footfall

As per the government Ministry of Tourism engaged National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) to conduct study on “India and the CoronaVirus Pandemic: Economic Losses for Households Engaged in Tourism and Policies for Recovery”. As per the results of the study, the tourism industry faced significant impact due to COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The tourism industry in Jammu and Kashmir faced additional losses before the covid-19 reared its ugly head. As per officials, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has relaxed the restriction for all foreign nationals intended to visit India for Tourism purposes subject to the Covid related guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW). In J&K’s context, there has been greater tourism footfall especially in winters. Around 1.27 lakh tourist arrivals have been recorded in the Valley in November, highest number of sightseers for the month in the last 7 years, as per the officials.

According to figures shared by officials, tourist arrivals into Kashmir in November 2021 were way higher than the 6,327 arrivals recorded in 2020 and 12,086 in 2019. The figure this November was even higher than the figure for the same month prior to abrogation of Article 370, with 33,720 tourist arrivals having been recorded in the Valley in 2018, 1.12 lakh in 2017, 23,569 in 2016 and 64,778 in 2015.

The tourism department has taken several measures to ensure that the fear of the Covid-19 contagion doesn’t scare away the visitors. As per government data, so far over 80 percent of the Valley’s tourism service providers have been vaccinated and are safe to welcome travellers from far and wide. Over the last several months, the Government has also been in the process of identifying new tourist destinations to accommodate more tourists and offer them more places to visit.

The administration has now been doing its best to push tourism recovery. In J&K budget 2021-2022, Rs 1,000 crore shall be taken up for development of tourism infrastructure. Officials said the budget

for tourism and culture was Rs 283 crore in 2020-2021 it is Rs 780 crore this financial year. Various plans have been formulated recently. The plan needed to be formulated at an earliest and stakeholders should be involved in preparations for a better outcome.   There is also a need to develop various tourist circuits while putting special focus on winter tourism, adventure tourism, trekking activities, pilgrimage sites, water sports and other popular ventures.

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