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Hopes spring

After over a year of total breakdown, the tourism sector in Kashmir was rejuvenated by a great winter season which saw thousands of tourists heading to Kashmir, especially the famed skiing destination Gulmarg where, according to reports, hotels have been fully booked. Buoyant by the encouraging rush of tourists during the winter months, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department has kick-started extensive Spring and Summer Tourism promotional campaigns across major cities of the country to pull in the massive domestic tourist market that is keen to move out and spend holidays with their loved ones after COVID pandemic forced people to remain indoors for months together. As part of the promotional drive, J&K Tourism is organizing Tourism Road Shows in Cities spread across all corners of the Country with active involvement of the various Tour and Travel Associations of J&K. With international travel restrictions, the tourism department should cash in on the domestic tourists who otherwise normally might have chosen to go to outside country locations. The high end and the budgeted tourists both can visit J&K. While COVID harmed the tourism sector in more than one way, it has also opened more than one window of opportunity to attract a massive domestic tourism market who want to go out with their loved and what better place than Jammu and Kashmir-an all season tourism destination. In the last 6 months since J&K celebrated the World Tourism Day on 27 September, 2020, J&K Tourism department has not stopped even for a moment. The number of activities, events, webinars, publicity Campaigns across all available platforms, be it print & electronic media, digital, Radio & FM and Social Media have been undertaken with the sole purpose of communicating the message to the people of the country that J&K is ready to welcome and host you for a memorable time there with our renowned hospitality and best measures in place to ensure tourists’ health. In fact J&K was first in the country to move out to Kolkata and other cities back in September, October 2020 and actively start campaigning for the revival of tourism. The revival efforts have borne fruit as domestic tourists have shown keen interest in J&K and have visited during winters and enjoy snow in Gulmarg, Srinagar, Pahalgam, Patnitop, Sanasar, Natha Top, Sonmarg and Doodhpathri in encouraging numbers. Recently, Gulmarg hosted the 2nd edition of the Khelo India Winter Games in which over a thousand athletes from across the country participated.