Media hype over Chinese incursion hit J&K tourism: Minister

    By Radhika Bhirani, IANS,

    Leh : The media hype over “Chinese incursion” and Uttarakhand floods affected the tourism industry this year, rued Jammu and Kashmir Urban Development Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora Friday.

    Jora thanked Bollywood for boosting tourism in the region in his address at the opening ceremony of the second edition of the Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF) here.

    “It is thanks to films such as ‘3 Idiots’, which are doing so much to promote tourism in Ladakh. Therefore, we are all very thankful to Bollywood for giving a fillip to our tourism industry,” Jora said.

    “Unfortunately this year, because of the incursion at the Chinese border, which wasn’t much of a big deal, but the media hyped it so much that it messed up the tourism for us. The tourism here got bogged down by 30 percent.

    “Plus, the fact that we had the Uttarakhand floods…it scared tourists from coming to the Himalayas. So this year has been a bit of a dampener for us,” he added.

    He pinned his hopes on Bollywood films, especially after Aamir Khan’s “3 Idiots” brought the panoramic Pangong lake in spotlight.

    “But I hope with more films being shot here in Ladakh, like Mehra (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra) chose to shoot the training scenes in ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ here, it gives a fillip to Ladakh. Tourism, I believe, is a strong source of our economy and it needs to be promoted here,” he said.