Four lakh five thousand tourists have visited the Kashmir valley this year even as the Union Territory gets ready to promote border tourism on the lines of what is done at Attari-Wagah in Punjab, Economic Times reported.
The surge in tourists was mainly due to Covid-19 related restrictions that prevented Indians from travelling abroad and easing of inland restrictions.
“Last year, there were restrictions due to Covid-19. The volume of tourist inflow had dropped in April after a rise from January to March. With easing of the restrictions and drop in Covid-19 cases, the tourist inflow again picked up in June with state administration vaccinating the local population. Only a limited number of foreign tourists were allowed,” an official was quoted as saying by ET.
Several rounds of talks have been held between border guarding forces and defence and tourism ministries to allow domestic tourists to forward bases. For Ladakh, the administration scrapped the inner line permit for Indian tourists to visit ‘protected’ areas. But a few villages near the Pak border will remain out of bounds, on Army’s insistence.