New Delhi, Feb 23: Kashmir remains the safest destination for domestic Indian tourists and no incident of violence was registered against them, said a state government official. He added that the terror attacks had not any impact on the flood of tourists in the previous year and the attack on Amarnath pilgrim remained the sole incident where they were subjected to any violence.
Addressing reporters in Kolkata, the director of the tourism department in Kashmir, M A Shah said that attack on Amarnath yatris was an “isolated incident to scare away visitors” and such attempts will not succeed.
“Apart from last year’s attack on Amarnath yatris, there has not been any instance of violence in the tourism corridor of the state, spanning Jammu, Vaishno Devi, Sonemarg, Gulmarg or Ladakh, in the last one decade,” added Shah.
Shah emphasised that Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in the country which has zero crime record against tourists and it registered one lakh foreign tourist footfall in 2017, while the number of domestic tourists crossed 1 crore.
People from Gujarat comprised 30 per cent of the domestic tourists last year, while those from West Bengal were the second highest in number at 25 per cent.
“Had it been unsafe, we would not have had so many foreign and domestic tourists visiting Kashmir,” Shah said.
The state has a dedicated a tourism police force to assist travellers, especially in Sonemarg and Gulmarg areas.
“Kashmir is not just for holidaying in summer time, it is a round-the-year destination offering snowfall in the winter, blossoms in the spring, endless alpine meadows in the summer and the glory of crimson chinar trees in the autumn,” he added.