‘Record surge’ in tourism in J-K, some politicians also enjoying in Valley now: Union minister Reddy

The Union minister's comments had come a day ahead of the third anniversary of the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh

J and K tourism
Recently, videos of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi skiing in Gulmarg in north Kashmir, and he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra enjoying a ride on a snow scooter there went viral on social media.

After a “record surge” in tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, some politicians are also having a leisure time in the Valley and other parts of the Union Territory, said the Union minister of tourism, G Kishan Reddy.

He, however, did not name anyone.

Recently, videos of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi skiing in Gulmarg in north Kashmir, and he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra enjoying a ride on a snow scooter there went viral on social media.

Also read: Big push for astro-tourism: Night sky sanctuary to come up in Ladakh

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The Union minister’s comments had come a day ahead of the third anniversary of the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

“After Independence, the tourism footfall in Jammu and Kashmir (J and K) has seen a record surge. If we look at figures for one year, in 2022, it was about 1.8 crore tourists in J-K,” said Reddy, the Union tourism minister.

There were “hardly any tourists” but today some politicians are “also playing there” and having a leisure time in Srinagar and other parts of J and K, Reddy said, adding that it is a good thing and people must go as it is part of our India.

“That is the situation today, people are eager to visit Jammu and Kashmir,” said Reddy, addressing a function held at the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition (IHM), Pusa, on Thursday (February 23).

Also read: Absence of democratic system in J&K causing hardship to people: Rahul

The Union minister on August 4 last year had said J and K had registered a record footfall of tourists at airports and sightseeing places in the last several months, due to transformative initiatives of the Narendra Modi government such as the abrogation of Article 370.

It was on August 5, 2019, when the Centre ended the special status of J and K and restrictions imposed in the region had severely impacted tourism there.

In a major intervention for the upliftment of the tourism sector in J and K, the Union government had made a record allocation of ₹786 crore in the budget for the tourism sector there, which was ₹509 crore higher than the last budgetary allocation, officials in Srinagar had said in February 2022.

They had added the intent of the massive budgetary allocation was to boost tourism and allied services in the Union territory.

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