August 2006 News

Terrorism hits domestic tourists flow to Kashmir

3 August 2006
Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi: Increased terrorist activities and attack on tourists have cast a negative impact on domestic tourist flow to the Kashmir valley. Over 16,000 less tourists have visited the paradise in last seven months as against the corresponding period last year.The Minister of Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni Thursday told the Lok Sabha that the 3,59,483 tourists including 10,317 foreign tourists have visited the Kashmir valley up to 26th of July in the current year. 'There has been a slight decline in domestic tourist traffic to the valley as compared to last year. Upto 26th of July 2006 3,49,166 domestic tourists visited the valley this year as compared to 3,65,818 during the same period last year,' Soni informed the House.However, the developments have so far failed to deter the foreigners from visiting the valley. In fact Kashmir has recorded a slight in the flow of such visitors. Upto 26th of July 2006, 10,317 foreign tourists visited the valley this year as compared to 9,777 during the period last year.The minister said that the state government and security forces have taken some measures to make the security environment progressively safe for tourists.The steps include, deployment of separate tourist police and enforcement wing at Srinagar, Jammu and other tourist places to look after and protect the interests of the tourists, adequate deployment of security forces with regular patrolling and anti-sabotage checks around the tourist spots and roads leading to such places.It has also made permanent security arrangements at and near Mata Vaishno Devi shrine at Katra, Shri Amarnath Ji Cave, Pahalgam and Kheer Bhawani. The state is also organising a special promotional tours for professionals from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad to Kashmir from Aug.2-6.


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