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Tourism in Kashmir breaks all records as 3,40,000 visitors throng valley in 3 months 

Kashmir Valley has broken all the previous records of tourist arrivals in the last three months. The valley saw more than 3,40,000 tourist arrivals in the months of January, February and March.   

The March month saw the maximum tourist arrivals of 1,80,000 tourists. After years, such a huge number of tourist arrivals have been witnessed in the Kashmir Valley.   

The tourist rush pushed the government to increase the number of flights running at Srinagar Airport. Around 92 flights operate daily from Srinagar airport with the passengers numbering around 15,000.    

In the last seven days of April, 58,000 tourists have come to the valley. The Tulip Garden was opened in the last week of March and on April 2, more than 50,000 people thronged the garden.    

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”We had around 60,000 tourists coming in the month of January. In February, it went up to 1,00,000 and in March, we had a record-breaking number of 1,80,000 tourists coming to this place. In the last 7 days of April, we have already had 58,000 tourist arrivals. Around 8,000 arrivals are happening per day. So, in the last three months, it has crossed the 3,00,000 number. It’s very encouraging to see our efforts yielding results. We expect more tourists to come in future,” said Ahsan Ul Haq, Deputy Director, Tourism.    

Around 3,00,000 tourists have visited the Tulip Garden so far. The government says looking at the figures, it seems all the previous records of people thronging the garden will be broken. The travel agents in the valley say that all five- and four-star hotels and properties are fully booked for next two months. Even the mid-range hotels are booked till June.    

”Tulip Garden was opened recently, and we have had a good season. It started from January and continued through February. All our hotels and houseboats are completely booked, and bookings have been made for the next two months. Kashmir is completely sold out. We have a good flow of tourists now and till June, everything in the valley is booked and we are sure all previous records will be broken,” said Waseem Gousani, travel agent.    

Spring is one of the most beautiful times to visit the valley. The Jammu and Kashmir tourism department organised many spring festivals to attract more and more tourists and prolong the spring season. This year, the department hasn’t confined the spring season only for tulips but other gardens as well.    

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The tourists from across the country are enjoying these beautiful gardens and hill stations of the Kashmir Valley.    

”It’s very nice and different. People scare you a lot but it’s very safe because of the Indian army. It’s very secure, I can see a lot of tourists coming here. It’s fun. I found a lot of people in Gulmarg. Post covid tourism has increased everywhere. I want to tell everyone to pack your bag and come,” said Sheryl Louis, a tourist.    

The tourists present in the valley said that they are happy to see Kashmir tourism flourishing after so many years. ”It’s a beautiful place and I wish many people would come here. It’s really a paradise and we only used to see this on TV and Bollywood films. It’s worth visiting and experiencing it yourself. It will help local people and they will earn their livelihood. Locals will get a lot of business. Due to covid, they must have lost a lot of business and now, they are recovering. It’s like nature is calling us. We have seen people from across India visiting here. We are happy over here and it was fun,” said Asumita Louis, another tourist.    

”It’s a dream come true and it’s very beautiful. There was no fear. Every place here is beautiful. There is so much tourist rush, we had to be in a queue at Gondola Gulmarg for more than one and a half hours. We went to Pahalgam and Gulmarg. Everyone needs to come here and experience this,” said Jyoti Mehrotra, another tourist.    

The tourist inflow has surprised all the officials, who work with the tourism department. Officials working at the gardens of Srinagar say that they have never seen such a rush.    

”This year, all records have been broken. Last Saturday, we saw a huge number of tourists, around 10,000 people visited us that day. Due to Ramadan, we can see locals aren’t coming in huge numbers but tourists in huge numbers are still coming. Everyday around 3,000 tourists come to this garden,” said Khurshid Ahmad, official, Nishat Garden.  

The government hopes, the numbers will increase more in the coming months.

Source: Thanks