Terrorism fades, tourism becomes J&K’s identity


As the dark clouds of 30-year-long Pakistan-sponsored terrorism are disappearing from Jammu and Kashmir, the tourism industry is fast becoming the identity of the region.
The efforts of the Tourism Department to rejuvenate the industry are being acknowledged and rewarded at different levels. Earlier this month South Asian Travel Trade Expo (SATTE), one of the biggest domestic travel marts, awarded Jammu and Kashmir for their best post-COVID-19 business recovery.
In 2022, nearly 1.88 crore tourists visited the Union Territory due to the calibrated post-COVID-19 initiatives that the Tourism Department took to revive the sector.
After 5 August, 2019, when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate it into two Union Territories, the government has diversified the tourism products to attract the visitors and the idea has worked.
The government during the past three years has added 75 new tourist destinations in the list of tourist spots to make visiting J&K a memorable experience for visitors.
To facilitate the boarding arrangements in the new tourist destinations the government has been focusing on homestays to maintain the scenic beauty and the ecology of the areas.
In 2023, the Tourism Department is expecting a 15 to 20 per cent increase in footfall. According to the MoU, the JSW Foundation extended technical and financial support, while the J&K Government provided assistance and funding for the project through support resources and other infrastructure. Jammu and Kashmir tourist village network under “Mission Youth” has helped in introducing the idea of rural tourism. The initiative has transformed 75 villages of known historical, picturesque, beauty and cultural significance into tourist villages.