Kashmir hosted 11 lakh tourists in 2013

Despite protests, militant attacks and uncertain political situation, more than 11 lakh tourists who included 28,000 foreigners visited the Kashmir Valley in 2013.

“We received 11.61 lakh tourists last year which is less by one lakh in comparison to last year. But keeping in view the situation we had to face this year the numbers are more than satisfactory,” J&K Minister for Tourism G A Mir told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Royal Springs Golf Course, here.

“We have already organised several tourism-related programmes but there is a lot of space to do more. We are trying to create programmes which will not only showcase the natural beauty of Kashmir but also feature our culture and tradition so that tourists not only enjoy the scenery of the Valley but also learn about the way of living of Kashmiri people,” he said.

Asked about the British government’s advisory to its citizens to travel to Kashmir, Mir said: “It was just a caution that was being put forth by British High Commissioner and that too for places like Gulmarg and Sonamarg which are close to Line of Control. But surprisingly when a (British) delegation came here they were the first ones who visited the Gulmarg and declared the place safe,” he added.

The minister revealed that this year Kashmir received 28,000 foreign tourists.

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