New Delhi- Tourist arrivals in Jammu & Kashmir have witnessed a steep decline as a mere 84,000 tourists visited Kashmir in the 18 months as against over one million tourists who visited Kashmir valley in 2010-13
In a written reply to a query in Rajya Sabha, he said 84,326 tourists visited Kashmir since August 5, 2019 while 87,94,837 visited Jammu and 1,00931 tourists visited Ladakh.
The total number of pilgrims/tourists who visited Jammu since August 2019 is 76,80,775.
On August 5, 2019, the Centre revoked the special status, or limited autonomy, granted under Article 370 of the Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir.
"Since, August, 5, 2019, the number of tourist arrivals in Jammu & Kashmir declined. The impact was felt more severely in Kashmir valley than in the Jammu division. However, the tourist footfall in J&K is gradually increasing since last few months. In respect of handcraft sector, no noticeable job losses in J&K have happened since August 05,2019. The artisans engaged in different handicrafts activities are continuing their job and the government is providing support through different schemes and steps taken by the central government," Patel said.
He also said that the government released a stimulus package of Rs 5.6742 crore as relief in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic for its disbursement among the tourism stakeholders.
The amount of relief which has been disbursed among the stake holders is to the extent of Rs 1,000 per beneficiary per month for a period of three months, he said.
He further informed the House that this benefit has further been extended for a period of six months at Rs 1,000 per month and an amount of Rs 618.70 lakh has recently been approved by the government for further release to beneficiaries.
"In addition to the efforts of the UT administrations, Ministry of Tourism is giving financial assistance to service providers in the UT of J&K and Ladakh approved by the Ministry of Tourism and UT Tourism Department for undertaking promotional activities including participation in international and domestic travel marts/fairs/exhibitions/road shows and undertaking online promotion/sales tours overseas to give boost to the tourism sector in the region," Patel said.
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