THE UK has lifted its travel advisory for visits to key tourist areas in Kashmir such as Jammu, Srinagar and Ladakh in the wake of improvements in the area's security.
This makes the UK the third country to withdraw its travel advisory for Kashmir, following Germany and Japan in 2011, though it remains intact for travel to remote areas of the region.
Meanwhile, the US, Australia, New Zealand and several European countries still have travel advisories in place.
To further initiate dialogue with other trade players, negate the threat perception and persuade other countries to do away with travel advisories, Jammu & Kashmir Tourism is participating in roadshows in several countries.
Reacting to the news, P P Khanna, director of Diplomatic Travel Point New Delhi, said: “The withdrawal of the UK’s travel advisory on Kashmir will open the floodgates (of tourists) as the country is a prime source market for inbound tourists to India.
“Surely, other countries will follow suit now that the perception of insecurity in travel to Kashmir has been dispelled. Kashmir is and will continue to be a prime tourist destination in India.”
In 1H2012, Kashmir received 14,500 foreign tourists, a 24 per cent rise over the same period last year.