Kashmir is the safest destination for tourists and no incident of violence was registered against them, said Director of Tourism Mahmood Ahmad Shah.
He said that the attacks on Amarnath pilgrims had not any impact on the flow of tourists in the previous year and the attack remained the single incident where they were subjected to any violence.
While addressing reporters in the city ofKolkata, M.A Shah said that attack on Amarnath yatris in 2017 was an “isolated incident to scare away visitors” and such attempts will not succeed.
“Apart from last year’s attack on Amarnath yatris, there has not been any instance of violence in the tourism corridor of the state, spanning Jammu, Vaishno Devi, Sonamarg, Gulmarg or Ladakh region, in the last one decade,” added Shah.
Shah said that Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in the country which has zero crime record against tourists and it registered 100,000 foreign tourist footfall in 2017, while the number of domestic tourists crossed 10 million (1 crore).
People from the state of Gujarat comprised 30 per cent of the domestic tourists last year, while those from West Bengal were the second highest in number at 25 per cent.
“Had it been risky, we would not have had so many foreign and domestic tourists visiting Kashmir,” Shah said.
The state has a dedicated tourism police force to assist travelers, particularly in Gulmarg and Sonamarg areas of Kashmir valley.
“Kashmir is not just for holidaying in the summertime, it is a round-the-year destination offering snowfall in the winter, blossoms in the spring, endless alpine meadows in the summer and the glory of crimson chinar trees in the autumn,” Shah added.