Over 16,000 foreign tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir this year so far, as part of a total of 110 million tourists, according to information provided by Union Minister Nityanand Rai to the Rajya Sabha. The surge in tourist arrivals is attributed to policy initiatives and increased investment in infrastructure. In 2022, there were 188 million tourists (compared to 113 million in 2021), and in the first half of 2023, there were 110 million tourists, including 16,423 foreign visitors. This represents a significant increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
To promote investment in the tourism sector, the government has implemented the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Policy, 2020. The policy aims to make J&K a preferred all-season tourist destination for both domestic and foreign travelers, fostering investment and generating local employment.
Regarding the Film Policy 2021, J&K has become a favored filming location, with over 400 permissions issued to production houses for movies, web series, documentaries, and music videos. The Film Policy streamlines the filming process through a single-window clearance system.
The tourism sector has received a boost from being granted industry status, leading to increased private investment. Moreover, the introduction of night landing facilities at Jammu and Srinagar airports has improved travel convenience for tourists, offering extended travel time windows.
The combination of policy initiatives and infrastructure spending has led to an unprecedented surge in the number of tourists, with over 188 million visitors recorded in 2022, more than doubling the figure from 2021. In the current year, 2023 (January to June), 110 million tourists have already visited the UT of J&K, with foreign tourist numbers at 16,423, approximately four times more than the corresponding period in the previous year.
Furthermore, to promote Wellness Tourism, a Wellness center in Mantali, costing Rs. 80.00 crore, has been completed, equipped with facilities such as huts, spa, yoga center, meditation center, and a helipad.