Bollywood returning to Kashmir, tourist footfall up: Minister

Kashmir shooting

With Jammu and Kashmir remaining peaceful, Bollywood filmmakers are returning to the state which was once their favourite shooting destination.

Kashmir Valley has witnessed turmoil since 1989, but violence levels have fallen considerably of late, prompting revival of tourism, the state's Tourism Minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir said here.

"The arrival of domestic and foreign tourists in Kashmir has gone up," Mir told reporters here over the weekend.

"I have discussed the issue of Bollywood shootings in Kashmir during my meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and a meeting of all the stakeholders is likely in Mumbai next month, " he said.

Last month Bollywood heartthrobs Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone shot for the upcoming film 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' at famous ski resort of Gulmarg.

Noted Bollywood filmmakers including the late Yash Chopra visited Kashmir last year. Chopra shot some scenes of 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' -- the ace director's last offering -- with Shah Rukh Khan in picturesque Pahalgam.

"We have started a tourism campaign to attract more foreign tourists," Mir said. The number of foreign tourists visiting Ladakh has also increased, he said.

For domestic travellers, the tourism department has now provided more facilities, such as eateries where they can enjoy their own cuisine, the minister said.

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