The largest tulip garden in Asia is finally closed today after treating tourists and locals to the colors of spring. This year tulip garden, located at the foothills of Zabarwan, remained open for public for 32 days, compared to routine 27 days.
As per the officials of the Floriculture more than 1.60 Lakh people visited the garden this year. The garden has succeeded in attracting tourists from Indian and abroad since it was first opened for public in 2008.
Over the last few years, tulip garden was used as background for many Bollywood and south Indian films. This year sequences of various Indian soaps were shot in the garden.
According to document released in the Legislative Council 2013, so far the state government has spent Rs 1435.82 lakh on its development and upkeep since 2008, while just Rs 153.744 lakh were generated from ticket sales during this period.
The documents also reveal that the cost of development and maintenance of Tulip garden which was Rs 319.89 lakhs in 2007-08 has decreased since. In 2009 total expenditure costs were Rs 344.66 lakhs; in 2010 Rs 371.88 lakhs; while it came down to Rs 233.67 lakhs in 2010-11 and Rs 165.71 lakhs in 2011-12.
As per the District Floriculture Officer, Javaid Ahmad Shah the profit generated from ticket sales was recorded to be around Rs 80 lakh. The profit generated from ticket sales and film shoot fees was Rs 37.51 lakhs in 2012 and Rs 32.19 lakhs in 2008.
Besides the revenue generated from the ticket, the department also get revenue by sending consignments of tulips to both Indian and international markets. “During last year we sent a consignment of about 2 lakhs tulips to Indian market, which included about 5,000 for the Gulf countries”, Shah said.
Gulf countries are preferred because it takes less time to send a consignment from Kashmir. “Our tulips are preferred compared to the tulips from other European countries as our tulips are of good quality, colour, variety and height. We have a huge demand for Kashmiri tulips from Indian markets,” Shah said.