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‘J&K to welcome nearly 20mn tourists this year’

Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Chief Coordinator, G20 on Monday said that around 20 million tourists are expected to visit Jammu and Kashmir this year.

Shringla said that the idea is to increase the number of foreign tourists visiting J&K. His remarks came while addressing a joint press conference on the first day of the third G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting in Srinagar.

“We expect around 20 million tourists to visit Jammu and Kashmir this year. But the idea is to increase the value in terms of eco-tourism, film tourism, and adventure tourism, not only that but also to increase the number of foreign tourists coming to Jammu and Kashmir, and that attention the G20 meeting will bring,” Shringla said.

Meanwhile, G20 Sherpa, Amitabh Kant, who was also present at the press conference, said that India’s G20 presidency came at a time when there is a lot of global turbulence.

“Amid all these crises, India sees the G20 as an opportunity and as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India’s G20 presidency will be inclusive, decisive, and will be action-oriented,” Kant said.

Union Minister Reddy emphasised on private investments in the tourism sector and said that Kashmir cannot become a world tourist destination without it.

“That’s why we want global and domestic investment. We are also encouraging 100 per cent FDI under the leadership of PM Modi, including in Northeastern states and hill states,” Reddy added.

He also said, “Every ministry is taking some responsibility for tourism encouragement and developing infrastructure activity to encourage foreign tourists and domestic tourists. And also Government of India is committed to working with all the G20 countries, innovative countries and all international organizations to promote sustainable tourism and sustainable practice.”

Notably, Srinagar is decked up to host the third Tourism Working Group Meeting of G20 members. Seven countries, including Spain, Singapore, and Mauritius are discussing film tourism in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

Spain, Singapore, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil and India are among seven countries to discuss the global perspective of film tourism, as well as, its economic benefits and impact in J&K.

The side event on ‘Film Tourism for Economic Growth and Cultural Preservation’ is part of the mega third Tourism Working Group Meeting being organised in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar from May 22-24.

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