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Aizawl, Feb 15 (IANS) The number of foreigners visiting Mizoram is rising.
A total of) 745 foreigners visited Mizoram last year, 87 more than in 2011, a Foreigners Regional Registration Office official told reporters.
Of the 745, 138 were from the US, 104 from Britain and 78 from Australia. In 2011, 657 foreigners, including 128 from the US, visited Mizoram.
"Foreigners prefer to visit the state in December and January because of chilly weather. But there are also tourists who enjoy the not-so-hot climate of June or July when the monsoon is in full swing," the official said.
The official said the relaxation of the Protected Area Permit (PAP), a must for foreigners visiting some northeastern states, would enable foreign tourists to travel more often to the Mizoram.
The home ministry last month relaxed for another year the protected area rules in Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. This would allow foreign tourists to visit these states without seeking the special permit.
The order of 1958 was first introduced with the aim of protecting the region and better preserving local culture. The rule was first relaxed in 2010, and has since been extended every subsequent year.