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Tourists flock to Kashmir for festive season, Gulmarg sold out

As Kashmir embraces the winter chill, the region is experiencing a surge in tourists eager to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year amidst snowy landscapes. The influx has led to sold-out hotels in sought-after destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam, affirming the growing interest in Kashmir’s winter tourism. Tourism Secretary Syed Abid Rasheed Shah […]

As Kashmir embraces the winter chill, the region is experiencing a surge in tourists eager to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year amidst snowy landscapes. The influx has led to sold-out hotels in sought-after destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam, affirming the growing interest in Kashmir’s winter tourism.
Tourism Secretary Syed Abid Rasheed Shah expressed confidence in the success of Kashmir’s tourism during the winter months, citing the overwhelming response from both domestic and foreign visitors. He highlighted Gulmarg’s complete booking for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, signaling a promising season ahead.
Gulmarg, often termed the ‘Switzerland of Asia’, has drawn substantial attention, with its hotels fully booked. Asif Burza, managing director of Ahad Hotels and Resorts, emphasized the recent snowfall’s role in amplifying tourist interest, noting full occupancy in Gulmarg and robust bookings in Pahalgam and Srinagar.
Rauf Tramboo, president of the Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), echoed the positive sentiment, citing excellent bookings for the year-end period. He emphasized Kashmir’s transformation into an all-season destination, attributing this shift to changing perceptions and an extended tourism season spanning nearly nine months.
The film industry’s support, with multiple projects shot in the valley, has further boosted tourist arrivals. Burza highlighted the impact of films like ‘Leo’ shot in Pahalgam, instilling hope for increased footfall in the upcoming weeks.
Secretary Shah outlined the department’s efforts to diversify tourism offerings, focusing on lesser-explored destinations like Sonamarg, Doodhpatri, Bhaderwah, and Sanasar. He emphasized the revitalization of trekking and the promotion of border tourism to broaden Kashmir’s tourism portfolio. The enchanting frozen Dal Lake in Srinagar has become a magnet for tourists seeking Shikara rides amidst the serene winter setting.

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