Kashmir Indepth

Tourism dept gears up for exciting winter season

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Oct 30: As the summer tourist season in Kashmir draws to a close, the Tourism Department is already in full swing, preparing for the upcoming winter season.

Known for its enchanting landscapes and thrilling winter activities, Kashmir has long been a favorite destination for tourists during the colder months.

The tourism department has been busy strategizing and crafting an extensive plan to make the winter season even more enticing for visitors to the Kashmir Valley, the officials said.

With successful summer tourism behind them, authorities are keen to continue the momentum into the winter season.

Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has been upbeat about the region’s tourism prospects, highlighting the remarkable tourist arrivals during the ten months of this year.

Last year, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 1.88 crore tourists, establishing the area as one of the top tourist destinations in the country.

The department is planning to continue initiatives that proved successful in the past, such as ski courses in Gulmarg, which have drawn adventure enthusiasts from around the world.

Additionally, new ideas and activities are being actively explored to enhance the overall winter experience.

A tourism official emphasized the importance of hosting an array of events to attract tourists during the winter season.

A tourism official has underscored the commitment to making the winter season captivating for visitors to the Kashmir Valley. “The department is meticulously crafting an array of winter events,” the official revealed.

Last year, the introduction of ski courses in Gulmarg marked a significant initiative, and this program will continue this year. Additional initiatives and activities are actively being explored for the winter months. “We intend to host a plethora of events to entice tourists during the winter season,” the official told KNS.

Kashmir has long been a magnet for tourists, particularly those seeking the skiing thrills that Gulmarg offers during the winter. “Kashmir is renowned as a winter wonderland, and tourism stakeholders in the valley are eagerly anticipating a substantial influx of winter tourists. All necessary preparations will be meticulously put in place,” the official assured.

Other tourism officials have also emphasized the need to infuse more vibrancy into winter tourism this year. “While we have been hosting sporting events, this year, we plan to introduce exciting additions to enhance the overall winter experience,” the officials shared.

Furthermore, the officials mentioned that during the winter months, the Department of Tourism will organize cultural programs. “Winter provides an ideal backdrop for such activities and is expected to draw more people to Kashmir.”

A senior official at Raj Bhawan told KNS that the government, under the leadership of Manoj Sinha, is committed to revitalizing the tourism landscape of the Kashmir Valley, presenting a wider range of attractions and cultural experiences to entice tourists during the colder months.

Meanwhile, the administration has refurbished the roads leading to popular tourist destinations in Kashmir, such as Pahalgam, Doodhpathri, Gulmarg, and Yusmarg, to ensure that tourists do not face any inconvenience during their visit.

The administration has also been holding meetings with key stakeholders to ensure that tourists do not face difficulties regarding the supply of electricity and water to the tourist destinations during winter.

Hoteliers have reported that hotels, restaurants, and cafes across the Kashmir Valley are preparing for the winter tourism season and are expecting a surge in tourists during the winter months. Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg are considered prime destinations for both domestic and international tourists to experience the magic of winter and witness snowfall in the “Paradise on Earth.”

Additionally, the availability of night landing facilities at Srinagar Airport has increased travel convenience for tourists, providing extended travel time options.(KNS)

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