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Footfalls of Bangladeshi tourists in Jammu and Kashmir are the third highest after Thailand and Malaysia. Bangladesh became the third tourist sending country to Jammu and Kashmir in India, popularly known as “Paradise on Earth” last year after Malaysia and Thailand, Bangladesh’s leading English newspaper The Daily Star has reported.

“We started our promotional campaign in Bangladesh last year and it is amazing that we received third largest number of foreign tourists from here in 2017 after Malaysia and Thailand,” visiting Chairman of Association of Tour Operators of Kashmir (AKTO) Nazir Mir said.

In 2017, he said around 5,500 Bangladeshi tourists visited different places in Kashmir followed by 15,000 Thai and 20,000 Malaysian tourists.

Mentioning that domestic travellers are the backbone of Kashmir’s tourism, he said, “As we are getting only 50,000 foreign tourists every year, now we concentrate more on international tourists to flourish our tourism industry.”

About the security issue, AKTO Vice Chairman Nazir Ahmad Tunda said there is no security hazard for the tourists at all. “You can’t find a single unwanted incident around the tourist spots so far,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions — Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, he said, adding “We get pilgrims for Jammu, families and groups for Kashmir valley and youth for Ladakh,” he added.

Tunda said tourism in the state is improving every year. This year, we have lined up many interesting activities for the tourists including fairs, festivals, sports and adventure and expect satisfactory growth in arrivals, he added.

AKTO organised a Kashmir night at a city hotel in Dhaka on Saturday to make a road show on different exciting tourist destinations of Kashmir.

Bangladesh Tourism Board CEO Dr Nasir Uddin, President of Tour Operator Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) Taufiq Uddin Ahmed and Secretary General of Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) Abdus Salem Aref also spoke on the occasion.

The ATKO members made a visual presentation on different tourism features of Jammu and Kashmir.

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