Kashmir had a tourist footfall for about 5.13 lakh till November this year

Over 5.13 lakh tourists have visited Kashmir so far this year, with November seeing the highest number of visitors.

According to official numbers obtained by Greater Kashmir, over 5.13 lakh tourists, including 1317 foreigners, visited Kashmir between October and November.

1.27 lakh tourists visited Kashmir in November, accounting for a significant portion of the year’s visits.

This represents a 75 per cent increase over the previous year’s total arrivals. Kashmir received 41267 visitor arrivals in 2020 when the territory was under strict closure owing to the virus.
Last month’s statistics also eclipsed the highest level of tourist arrivals in November in the previous seven years.

Official figures show that 6,327 people arrived in November 2020, compared to 12,086 in November 2019. In November 2018, 33,720 tourists visited Kashmir, compared to 1.12 lakh in 2017, 23,569 in 2016, and 64,778 in November 2015.

Despite a spate of non-locals being killed in the valley earlier in October, November has seen a surge in tourists.

The J&K administration and Kashmir’s tourism stakeholders are anticipating a renewed influx of tourists, as they were last winter.

They believe that events such as winter carnivals, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve will draw more visitors to Kashmir.

The tourism department has already taken many steps to ensure that visitors are not scared away by the Covid-19 virus. According to government statistics, more than 80% of tourism service providers have been vaccinated and are safe to welcome visitors from all over the world.

According to tourism industry insiders, hotel occupancy in Kashmir has surpassed 80%.

Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club, stated that the government as well as tourism stakeholders have worked relentlessly to promote Kashmir tourism. “ Tourism Department along with travel trade associations, hoteliers have done massive promotional campaigns across the length and breadth of the country to woo tourists which have finally shown results. We are optimistic that in the coming months the tourist arrivals will further pick up.”

“Tourism players here have ensured vaccination of their staff, adherence of COVID appropriate behaviour etc which has instilled confidence among tourists to visit Kashmir,” he said and further added, “Kashmir is the safest destination to visit and its beautiful locales never fail to impress visitors.”