New Year begins with multiple snow racing events in Gulmarg, organized by the Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir.
After nearly one-and-a-half years of hiatus, Kashmir is again abuzz with tourists in the New Year. Thousands of tourists from across the country have started visiting the picturesque Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Srinagar, and other areas of the valley since Christmas to enjoy the snow-clad mountains and cold.
The rush has been so high in the valley that some tourists had to ring in the new year from their vehicles stuck in traffic. With the surge in tourist activity several regions of Kashmir have started witnessing huge traffic jams.
With the trip to global destinations ruled out due to the Coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions around the world, the valley in the state seems to have become an obvious choice for many. According to a hotel manager in Gulmarg, with the pandemic upsetting plans of travel to Europe, Kashmir emerged as the most preferred destination for tourists.
He also said that there is a tough fight ahead, but the ‘Unlock Kashmir’ program launched by the hoteliers in the state has helped to woo the domestic tourists, which would help the industry to go higher places with required support from private and government stakeholders.
With this surge in tourist numbers, the hotels and resorts are witnessing a revival in business and a spike in the number of bookings. Several hotels and resorts in the state across different locations organized various events to welcome New Year’s Eve, like firecracker show, musical evenings.
Besides the private entities, Jammu & Kashmir tourism department too organised an event in Gulmarg for the tourists during New Year’s Eve that drew a large number of visitors.
Overall, according to many hoteliers, Kashmir valley has witnessed such a busy December after many years. With the increased tourist activity and surge in occupancy of hotels and resorts the Jammu & Kashmir tourism industry is tasting the feel good mood and looking forward to a brighter season ahead after the prolonged lull due to the economic crisis, Covid-19 pandemic and political tensions after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August 2019.
Besides that, the work from home by many companies are also aiding in the rush of tourists in the state. Several hotels and resorts have been offering attractive packages to lure the customers who can avail the facility of working while enjoying a holiday as well.
The hotels in Kashmir are claimed to be undertaking regular additional cleanliness drives and maintaining quality and hygiene to offer the tourists a safer environment.
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