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FTAs to J&K increase by 350% post G-20: LG

The foreign tourist arrivals in Jammu and Kashmir have increased by 350 per cent this year post the G20 meeting held in May, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said. Addressing a function after inaugurating the Vistadome rail coach at Nowgam railway station here, Sinha also said 1.70 crore tourists have visited J-K so far this year.

“Srinagar hosted the G20 meeting (the third tourism working group meeting of the G20 member countries) and post that, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in J-K has gone up by 350 per cent from the last year,” the LG said.

He said last year J-K witnessed a record 1.88 crore tourist arrivals, but this year, 1.70 crore tourists have already visited J-K till September this year.

Sinha said the Vistadome coach on the train will boost tourism in Jammu & Kashmir.

“It will not only ferry travellers from Budgam to Banihal, but also provide livelihood opportunities to the youth at Budgam, Qazigund, and Banihal stations. The coach will help tourists see Kashmir’s beauty with a new perspective,” he added.

He said the introduction of the Vistadome coach is another step towards J-K’s developmental journey.

The state-of-the-art Vistadome coach, which has advanced features of entertainment and sitting, will chug from Budgam to Banihal.

The coach has rotational seats, transparent glass roof, and windows, offering 360-degree views.

Giving details about the coach, chief area manager, Srinagar, Northern Railway, Saqib Yusuf said it is going to be a major tourist attraction for people visiting the valley.

“It is a glass-top coach with wide windows, rotating chairs, so that the passengers can enjoy the Kashmir valley’s panoramic look especially in the coming winter season. It is expected to give a major boost to tourism in the Kashmir valley. It will run from Budgam to Banihal in the morning, and in the evening, it will run from Banihal to Budgam. It will run six days a week,” Yusuf said.


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