The Jammu and Kashmir, which government has announced massive rebates to boost tourist arrivals to the valley.
“Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) will provide 50 per cent rebate on lodging and transport charges or even on total packages in some cases to the tourists visiting the Valley,” deputy director of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism, Ghulam Jeelani Zagar said in Kolkata on Saturday.
Private tourism players were also offering 32 per cent concessions in boarding and lodging or on total packages to the tourists, he said.
Seeking to allay apprehensions amongst the tourists about the situation in the northern state, he said “The tourist destinations of Jammu and Kashmir are well protected with maximum safety and security for the tourists.
The recent terrorist activities were only near the border areas and even hotel and transport owners and local people are taking up the work to provide total safety to the tourists.
“In need of any services, the tourists can contact the Jammu and Kashmir tourism office in Kolkata or any tourist office in Kashmir. The offices will provide fast services as soon as possible to keep the tourists safe,” he said.
Bengal topped the list in domestic tourist inflow in the valley, he said and welcomed tourists from the state as well the eastern region.
Jammu and Kashmir offered major tourism products like leisure, pilgrim, adventure, water sports, golf, MICE tourism, heritage and Tibetan culture.
Stating that tourist inflow in the valley during 2016-17 was nearly 17 lakh, Zargar hoped that the number would be more this time following massive campaign to boost the sector.
“Foreign tourists, however, was only about 35,000 during the year 2016-17, of which majority were from South Asia,” he said.
The state government is emphasasing on carrying out a mass publicity campaign to attract more tourists from other states and abroad to the valley.
Steps have already been taken for proper regulation of traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway for smooth movement of vehicles, he said.
Dismissing news published on damages to some tourist spots, he said that Srinagar, Sonmarg, Gulmarg and other places in Kashmir have retained their natural beauty. “Nothing has changed, they are as beautiful as they always were.”