Over one crore tourists, pilgrims visit J&K in 2009

Over one crore tourists, pilgrims visit J&K in 2009

With the aim to attract more domestic and foreign tourists, the state government has declared 2010 as "Visit Kashmir Paradise Awaits" year.As many as 1.03 crore tourists and pilgrims visited Jammu and Kashmir during 2009 due to betterment in the security situation," a Tourism Ministry official said. Among them 96.84 lakh were "pilgrim tourists" and 6.80 lakh foreign and domestic tourists, officials said.

Of these, 82.35 lakh pilgrims visited the cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Reasi district, 3.47 lakh visited cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir and 7.2 lakh pilgrims visited Shiv Khori cave shrine in Reasi district. Two lakh and 1.5 lakh pilgrims visited Shahdra Sharief and Nagali shrines in Rajouri and Poonch respectively last year, they said.

Similarly, 6.01 lakh foreign and domestic pilgrims and 79,000 foreign and domestic pilgrims visited Kashmir and Ladakh regions respectively, they said.In 2008, 87 lakh tourists and pilgrims had visited Jammu and Kashmir. Officials said Jammu and Kashmir government has launched pro-active awareness campaigns across the country to promote the state as a safe tourist destination.

Besides this, logistics for adventure tourism are being taken care of, they said adding that 19 tourist development authorities and 50 tourist villages are being set up to cater to various types of travellers.

Infrastructure improvement at the destinations as well as development of tourist circuits and tourist villages at a cost of Rs 297 crore are being funded by the Centre, they said.
"These infrastructure building programmes will have a tangible impact in improvising and developing a huge tourism related infrastructure throughout the state with special emphasis on exploitation of new potential destinations in Jammu and Kashmir," they said.

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