In a bid to prolong tourist season in the state beyond October,the Jammu and Kashmir Government is holding a two-day tourism festival here beginning October 10.
A tourist festival will be organised here on October 10 and 11. The purpose of festival is to prolong the tourist season,Tourism minister Nawang Rigzin Jora told reporters here on Wednesday.
He said opening of Tulip garden at the banks of Dal lake has already advanced tourist season in the state by at least five weeks and added that a two-day Sufina Music festival will follow the tourist festival on October 18 and 19.
The minister said that tourist arrival here suffered a set back this year due to “unfounded negative” publicity of presence of Taliban and increase in infiltration.
He said an estimated ten lakh tourists are expected to visit Kashmir by the end of the year. Nearly 9 lakh tourists including four lakh Amarnath yatris visited the state so far,he added.
Jora said that security forces are being removed from tourist places. Nigeen Club in Srinagar and Verinag in Anantnag have been cleared of the security forces,and efforts are on to remove them from other tourist spots.
“We are developing and identifying new tourist spots to explore areas like Verinag,Kokernag,Arhabal,Doodpathri so that tourism is not confined to Gulmarg,Pahalgam and Sonamarg,” the tourism minister said.