Reviving tourism:Hopes pinned on snow, skiing, sculpture
File photo of a bunch of tourists on way to Gulmarg (KM/Umar Ganie)
Srinagar, Nov 17: To woo tourists back to the valley, the
J&K Tourism Department is all set to announce its schedule for winter
season with special packages being drafted to ensure full occupancy on
Christmas and the New Year’s Eve.
After last week’s snowfall, the tourist flow to the valley
has improved with fresh booking queries coming in for valley’s highest skiing
Director Tourism Nisar Ahmad Wani said the department is in
the process to resume tourism activities in the valley by framing its schedule
for winter adventure in Kashmir.
“Tourists are coming now especially after last week’s
snowfall. We are planning our programmes for winter season, which will be
filled with fun and adventure for tourists,” Wani told The Kashmir Monitor.
An official in the Tourism Department said the adventure
sports schedule is being framed by them to cater to the high-end backpackers.
“Gulmarg, which received a good snowfall in November, has
always been a winter attraction for tourists. So the department is framing the
schedule for various programmes, which focuses on adventure sports,” he said.
“Skiing, snow skating and marathons will be organised, which
will see participation by people from different states of India and foreign
countries as well,” the official said.
He added a mega competition of snow sculpture and photo
exhibition will be also organised by the department most likely in January.
“Snow sculpture has been witnessing a good participation by
the artists from Kashmir and other states. We are getting good response
worldwide for this competition every year,” the official said.
On Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the official said various
cultural shows and music programmes will be held by the department in Gulmarg
To mention, Kashmir tourism received a heavy blow after
government issued an advisory in August this year asking Yatris and tourists to
It was followed by the abrogation of Article 370 and
bifurcation of the state into two union territories, a development that rattled
Kashmir and continues to affect the normal life until now.
The advisory was eventually removed by the government on
October 10 after which, as per official figures, as many as 10,000 tourists
visited the valley. Over 7000 of these were domestic tourists.
The figure is 95% less compared to 1,85,057 tourists who
visited the valley in the same period last year.
This year July witnessed the maximum flow of tourists when
1,52,000 backpackers from different countries and states of India visited the