Indicating a positive trend for tourism in the region, an official said, highlighting that a campaign has also been launched to inform Amarnath pilgrims about must-visit places.
The annual yatra to the cave shrine of Amarnath in the south Kashmir Himalayas began on July 1 from the twin tracks of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district. The yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 31.
So far, 1,62,569 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine in Kashmir, and of them, 72,789 pilgrims left for the yatra from the Jammu base camp, according to official data.
“Last year, over 1.4 crore people visited the Jammu province, including Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims. This year, till June, nearly 50 lakh tourists have already arrived in the Jammu region, including those going to the Mata Vaishno Devi temple (in Jammu’s Reasi district),” Director Tourism, Jammu, Vivekanand Rai said.
“These numbers indicate a positive trend for tourism in the region,” the official said.
Rai said the tourism department has put up scores of signboards, hoardings and digital information boards in various parts of Jammu city for promotion of destinations and places of pilgrimage.
“Tourism department has started a campaign through signboards and hoardings to inform Amarnath pilgrims coming in lakhs. We are informing them about the places of tourism in Jammu,” he said.
Rai, who is leading the campaign, said these modes of publicity are being used to showcase the tourist destinations in Jammu.
The base camp of the Amarnath pilgrimage in Jammu, where over 7,000 pilgrims are putting up on a daily basis, is dotted with hoardings and digital panels displaying must-visit places such as temples, and adventure and leisure tourism destinations.
“Due to this, we are getting a good footfall of tourists during the yatra. When the yatra was suspended due to some reasons, pilgrims were taken to various destinations during their period of stay here,” Rai said.
Sushma Dewan of Agra said, “I went to some places around Jammu, including temples, and the border area of Suchetgarh when the yatra was suspended. I came to know about the places through videos being run on the digital panels.”
Anurag Singh of Ranchi said that there are a lot of beautiful places in Jammu. “We never knew about these places despite doing the yatra for a fourth time. Now that the government has put up big hoardings of these places and digital panels, we got to know about the places. We visited some temples in Jammu”, he said.
General secretary of the Federation of Travel and Tourism Association, Jammu, Raminder Sanhotra, said, “We welcome the step taken by the government for promotion of tourism in Jammu. But they should have taken suggestions of stakeholders in Jammu and outside. This would have given a further boost.