Ladakh receives highest tourist inflow in five decades
29 July 2003
The Hindustan Times
Anil K Bhat (Press Trust of India)
Anil K Bhat (Press Trust of India)Leh: The world's highest inhabited plateau, Ladakh, has created history by attracting the largest number of tourists in last five decades, after suffering a tourist drought in the aftermath of the Kargil conflict.'Ladakh has beaten all the records in past as the highest number of 27920 tourists have visited the frontier region just in seven months period of this year,' Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Minister Gulam Hassan Mir told a visiting PTI correspondent in Leh.The land of lamas and gompas has broken tourist arrival record in 1988, when 24864 tourists, including 16256 foreigners, had visited Ladakh.'There is a flood of tourists, particularly foreigners and we expect that it will cross the 50 thousand mark this year to create history for Ladakh tourism,' Mir said.A total of 22748 tourists visited Ladakh in 1989, but eruption of militancy in Kashmir brought down the tourist flow to 6738 in 1990.However, in 1998, 22030 tourists, including 15238 from foreign countries visited Ladakh. But after Kargil war in 1999, tourist arrivals fell to 11574 in 2000 and 8079 in 2002, according to the tourism industry sources.'Tension between India and Pakistan has had a negative impact on tourism in Ladakh over the years,' a Leh-based tour operator, Gulam Mohideen said.