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Friday, 19 February, 2021, 15 : 00 PM [IST]

Tourism is reviving in Jammu and Kashmir, proves the rise in number of tourists: Patel

Rise in tourists in Jammu and Kashmir is a sign of revival of the sector post the coronavirus pandemic, Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel said on Thursday, hitting out at naysayers who claimed that the scrapping of the erstwhile state's special status had taken a toll.

Speaking at the inauguration of the third India Tourism Mart, organised by the Federation of Associations in India Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH), Patel said the data indicated that tourists visited Srinagar and Jammu in more numbers in January as compared to the same period last year.

In January 2020, around 3,750 visited Srinagar, while 19,000 tourists visited the Union territory in January 2021.

"There has been a continuous negative discourse on the effect of tourism in J&K due to the abrogation of Article 370. The data that is coming this year negates these claims.

"Some other states like Goa have also started showing signs of recovery, while states like Maharashtra and Kerala are still not open. We have to promote domestic tourism as international travel will be restricted for some time," he said.

Patel praised the sector for its resilience and urged hotels, service providers and others involved with the tourism industry to get themselves registered on portals, such as SAATHI and Nidhi.

To encourage it further, the government has already started issuing medical visas and planning to soon restart e-tourist visas, as well as scheduled international flights, he added.

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