Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has relaxed the Protected Area Permit (PAP) regime to enable foreigners to visit restricted areas in Leh district of Ladakh, a decision which is expected to increase the footfall of tourists and give considerable boost to the local economy.
With this decision, foreign tourists would now be permitted to visit a number of unexplored areas like Panamik, Phukpochey, Hargam, Taksha, Sasoma, Chaglung, Kobet, Aranu, Khemi, Warshi, including Yarma Gompa/ Yarma Gonbo Monastery of the Nubra Valley in Leh.
An official spokesman said on Tuesday that the Government has ordered relaxing the Protected Area Permit (PAP) regime for allowing foreigners to visit the hitherto restricted areas in district Leh.
A formal notification in this regard has been issued by the State's Home Department on 27 September.
He said these areas were thrown open for the local tourists in 2015, thus creating a positive impact on the life and livelihood of the people residing in these remote areas.
Situated at an average altitude of 10,000 feet, the Nubra Valley is known for its breathtaking beauty, gushing rivers, Buddhist monasteries and Pashmina goat rearing.
The spokesman said after taking note of the positive dividends emanating from the initiative and to further augment the opportunities of employment and income generation for the local youth, the State Government has decided to open up the area for foreign tourists as well.
With this decision, a long pending demand of the people of Nubra Valley and Ladakh has been fulfilled, which in effect, is expected to give considerable boost to the local economy of Nubra Valley, he said, adding the flow of foreign tourists to the new areas from Panamik to Warshi, is expected to substantially enhance earnings of the people and transform their socio-economic profile.
Ladakh has over the years emerged as a prime tourist destination and is attracting tourists, both domestic and foreigners, in significant numbers.
The State Government has been consistently taking steps to expand the possibilities of tourist activities in this beautiful region with the purpose of enabling it to harness full potential in the realm of tourism.
The spokesman said the latest decision of the State Government is a continuation of the policy to further enhance footfall of tourists in Ladakh region and also reflects the abiding commitment of the Government to expand the sphere of economic opportunities for the people in every nook and corner of the State.