Over 88 lakh tourists visited HP in 2007

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Shimla, May 11 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh has emerged a popular tourist destination in the country with over 88 lakh domestic and foreign tourists visiting the state last year.

The number of domestic tourists visiting the state was over 84 lakh, while the number of foreign tourists touched an all time high of 3.39 lakh during 2007.

Last year, various tourist destinations and pilgrim circuit of the state had attracted 79.53 tourists in all, which comprised 2.81 lakh foreign tourists.

The number of tourists visiting the state has been increasing year after year with the state registering an impressive 37.50 per cent increase in the tourists since 2003 when it attracted 55.44 lakh tourists.

Interestingly, the number of tourists visiting the state was well over the state's overall population of about 65 lakh.

The number of foreign tourists visiting various places of the state has also increased to 3.39 lakh in 2007 as against 2.81 lakh registered in the preceding year, an increase of over 20 per cent.

Kullu-Manali has emerged as a favourite tourist destination among the foreign tourists with an estimated one lakh tourists visiting the district last year followed by 96,000 in the hill state's capital town of Shimla.

Over 60,000 foreign tourists visited the picturesque Kangra Valley and the tourist resort of Dharamshala, while the twin tribal districts of Lahaul Spiti and Kinnuar districts recorded over 40,000 and 24,000 tourists respectively.

Mandi and Chamba district also received 6,815 and 2,504 international tourists in 2007.

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