SRINAGAR: Union Minister for Tourism G Kishan Reddy Monday said that in the ensuing year, the J&K UT expects to see 20 million tourist arrivals and that the Government of India (GoI) is also encouraging 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for world-class Tourism infrastructure.
“In the year 2022, 1.84 Crore tourists visited J&K and this year, we expect around 20 million tourist arrivals including foreign guests,” Reddy told reporters after receiving the 61 guests from G-20 countries at the SKICC on the banks of Dal Lake.
He said that India is also mulling for 100 percent FDI for world-class Tourism infrastructure across the country with a special focus on J&K,” adding that foreign tourist arrivals have increased in Kashmir and the number is set to go high.
“The G-20 events are being held across the country and it is matter of great pride for Srinagar to host such a mega event. The event will surely pay back in the form of rise in the tourist influx,” the Union Minister said.
“This is just the beginning as India is all set to host the Global Tourism Investment Summit. Discussions are underway with all the States and UTs and the event will be held shortly,” he said. “National Tourism Policy is also in the offing and discussions are on with the State governments and Stakeholders.”
The Chief Coordinator of the G-20 event Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that Jehlum riverfront, Polo view market with underground optic fiber for wi-fi and shops laced with a wide range of handicrafts is a real treat for not just domestic tourists but foreign guests as well. “G-20 will give tangible benefits to Kashmir tourism,” he said, adding, “The event will help in luring more and more foreign as well as domestic tourists to Kashmir. This event indeed could not have been envisaged before a few years.”
Meanwhile, Amitabh Kant, the Sherpa G-20 said that Kashmir was the most famous film destination till 1989 and after the “eruption of insurgency”, the place remained on the back burner for almost three decades.
“Things have drastically in the past two years. More than 200 films and serials have been shot in Kashmir in the past two years. People from all parts of the country are flocking in Kashmir. Film tourism is getting promoted in a big way. I am sure the golden era is returning to the Valley,” he said. Notably, Srinagar is decked up to host the third Tourism Working Group Meeting of G20 members. Seven countries, including Spain, Singapore, and Mauritius are discussing film tourism in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. (KNO)