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It is party time in Kashmir: Gulmarg bursts at seams with tourists on New Year eve

Srinagar: From musical evening to gala dinner, Gulmarg is all set to welcome New Year with great fanfare.

Gulmarg is completely sold out on New Year’s eve. From newly wedding couples to adventure enthusiasts, scores of the tourists have arrived in Kashmir to celebrate New Year.

 “We have planned a musical evening on December 31. It will continue for the entire night at Golf Club. A night skiing event has also been planned to enthrall the visitors. New Year celebrations will be a memorable event for the tourists,” Assistant Director Tourism Gulmarg Javed-Ur-Rehman told The Kashmir Monitor.

He said the Gulmarg hotels are completely packed with tourists. “Gulmarg hotels have been packed for the last 15 days. Tourist rush has increased on New Year eve since Gulmarg is completely covered with snow,” Rehman said.

Hotels too have arranged gala dinners DJ party and crackers shows to enthrall tourists. “Hotels have been decorated and some of them have already installed big music systems for a night-long celebration,” said a hotelier.

Travel agents said they have made special arrangements for the tourists in Gulmarg on New Year. “Gulmarg is packed for the grand event with special arrangements by the travel agents and hoteliers, ” said president Travel Agents Association of Kashmir, Farooq Ahmad Kuthoo.

 After witnessing a slump for more than one and a half years, Christmas and New Year have come to the rescue of Kashmir tourism.   

 “We are expecting a further increase in bookings. We hope Gulmarg remains packed for January. The tourism department has lined up a variety of adventure sports activities,” Kuthoo said.

Javed Ahmad, a travel agent, said that most of the bookings have been coming from newlywed couples and sports enthusiasts. “Newlywed couples are thronging Kashmir for honeymoon.  The majority of the bookings are coming from south India, which is relatively hot during winters,” he said.

An official from the tourism department said that many promotional activities within and outside Kashmir are in pipeline to boost arrivals.

“We have adventure programmes coming up in Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Further, our officials and travel agents will conduct programmes in various states. Kashmir will be highly promoted in Travel Trade Fairs, ” he said.