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Kashmir records over a million tourist arrivals till Mid-May

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Srinagar: More than a million tourists have visited Kashmir till mid-May, with the J&K administration readying for the record breaking tourist numbers this year.

Kashmir, this year is witnessing a boom in tourism with promising foreign arrivals. Hotels, houseboats and homestays are witnessing a complete occupancy this season.

“We have already received more than a million tourists till mid-May. We are having a good season compared to last year with promising foreign arrivals,” Director Tourism Kashmir, Raja Yaqoob said.

The director tourism said they are expecting to surpass the previous record given the sustained flow of tourists in Winter, Spring and summer so far.

“The previous year’s record of mammoth tourists arrivals will be broken this year. We are ready for a record breaking number this year,” he said.

Yaqoob said apart from the main tourist destinations, offbeat places like Daksun, Doodhpathri and others equally receive good number of tourists this year. “The good thing is that we witness that tourists are exploring offbeat destinations in Kashmir. From Daksun to Doodhpathri , Keran and other places tourists love to explore them,” he said.

The director tourism is seconded by the Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), which claims that the summer season is fully packed with booking from tourists across India and worldwide.

“We are witnessing an uninterrupted flow of tourists currently. We are expecting the flow to sustain for the rest of the months and hope to break previous tourism records,” he said.

The valley is currently receiving bulk tourists from Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, where the temperature is abnormally high this season.

“Currently, higher flow of tourists is being witnessed from Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Chennai. We are equally receiving a good number of tourists from Bangalore also,” he said.

Hoteliers said currently all the hotels are booked till the second week of June. “We have 100 percent occupancy right now. As summer vacations will be over in Maharashtra and Gujarat in the second week of June, we will receive tourists from New Delhi and Punjab June onwards. We are expecting the flow of tourists to continue throughout the year,” a hotelier, Waheed Ahmad Bazaz said.

Houseboats owners said the current heat wave countrywide has increased the flow of tourists to Kashmir.

Manzoor Ahmad Pakhtoon, president Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association said the occupancy in the houseboats was ‘satisfactory’. “Since the heat wave is prevailing within the rest of India, we are witnessing good bookings and occupancy. We expect the flow to continue for the rest of the months as well, especially during Amarnath yatra,” he said. (KNO)


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