The tourist footfall has increased manifold to one of the fast emerging destinations Mansar Lake situated in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, some 55-kilometres from here as around 8.96 lakh tourists from within the Union Territory and other parts of the country visited till November this year.
In 2018, as many as 10.92 lakh tourists visited Mansar.
According to official sources, Mansar has become one of the most favourite destinations for the tourists and not only locals but also the outsiders are reaching in large number to the place having mythological belief that it is a ”devsthan” of ”naag devta”.
As per official data, in the month of January this year, 82,128 tourists visited to the Mansar while in February, 86,643, in March 78,378, in April 1,05,110 in May 1,04,591 in June 1,05,029 in July 69,011, in August 38,711 in September 47,193 in October 50,655 and in November 68,715 tourists including from within the state and also from outside, visited to picturesque destination.
Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) Surinsar-Mansar Development Authority (SMDA) Nagendra Jamwal, here said that Mansar and Surinsar lakes have religious importance.
To woo tourists, many adventurous, recreational activities like boating, camel, horse riding were started previously and in the coming days, zip-line, free fall, bungee jumping, climbing wall like activities would also be introduced soon, he added.
In the past one decade, Mansar Lake has witnessed the highest-ever tourist footfall in 2018.
The figure showed improving trend in number of tourists visiting Mansar, from 1.26 lakhs in 2008, 1.57 lakhs in 2009, and 2.54 lakhs in 2010, to 5.13 lakhs in 2011.
However, the graph suddenly registered a fall, when only 4.14 lakh tourists visited Mansar in 2012 but thereafter, the footfall started increasing, gradually, as it rose from 4.15 lakhs in 2013, 4.82 lakhs in 2014, 4.38 lakhs in 2015, and 4.57 lakhs in 2016, to 5.54 lakhs in 2017.
The unprecedented footfall was witnessed in 2018, when 10.92 lakh tourists came to Mansar, which was almost the double of 2017 figures and the highest in the past 10 years (2008-2018).
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, KK Sharma on Wednesday reiterated that a string of measures have been taken to boost Tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to a group of tourism sector stakeholders here, he said that travel marts are being held which will help in increasing tourist arrivals here while listing the tourism promotion activities being carried out in different parts of the country and globally.
Terming the tourism sector as mainstay of JK’s economy, Advisor Sharma said, ”our focus is on promotion of potential tourist spots on sustainable basis”.
He said that sustained campaign would contribute tremendously in boosting pilgrimage tourism which would in turn create jobs by accelerating the economic and trade related activities in these particular areas.
VISHAL BHARTI / UNI