Jammu and Kashmir government is expecting over Rs 30,000 crore investment from the private sector over the next decade towards infrastructure development in the state. "This year for the first time we are coming out with a tourism policy, which will also be the roadmap for the infrastructure sector till 2030," Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Tourism and Floriculture secretary Farooq A Shah told reporters here. "In this, we are expecting Rs 30,000 crore investment from the private sector towards infrastructure development, including hospitality, convention centres among others in the next 10 years," he said. Shah said, the state government is planning to invest Rs 2,400 crore in the next 4 years to give a boost to the tourism sector. The Kashmir valley, he said, had hosted 13 lakh travellers last year. "Looking at the trend, this year we are expecting over 20 lakh visitors in the valley," he added. Overall in the state, he said, the valley saw 13 lakh tourists, Ladakh saw 3 lakh, Amarnath 2.5 lakh and Jammu hosted 80 lakh pilgrims for Vaishnodevi. Shah further said the state is focusing on eco-tourism and developing lesser known destinations to push tourism. "We are in the final stages of developing the tourism policy. It is expected to be out within 6 months," he added. J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who was present on the occasion, invited people to visit Jammu and Kashmir saying it is one of the most safest destinations in the country. "We want you to experience the beauty of Kashmir and see for yourself that it is a safe place to visit," she said. Blaming the media for unnecessarily highlighting incidents in one corner of the valley, Mufti said, "It seems as if no incident takes place in the rest of the country.
By highlighting such incidents tourism in the state gets affected." Talking about soldiers getting killed in Kashmir, she said, "People become emotional when they see the body of a young martyred soldier on television. The true way to salute these martyred soldiers will be to visit the valley." During the event, the CM also launched the trailer of the Bollywood movie 'Sargoshiyan'. "We invite Bollywood to take advantage of the scenic beauty of Jammu and Kashmir. We are also planning to develop a village as a film city to facilitate production houses with seamless film shooting," she added. Asked who would she prefer as the brand ambassador, Deepika Padukone or Alia Bhatt, Mufti, in a lighter vein said, she would prefer the Khans. "I would rather go for the Khans of Bollywood, preferably Salman Khan to promote tourism in the state," she added.
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