Sonamarg all set for winter tourism, hoteliers, traders anticipate increased arrivals

1 min read
Snowfall
Serene Sonamarg-The breath-taking view of snow clade world famous tourist resort Thajwas Sonmarg on Saturday 14 November 2020.The resort remains closed for tourists during winters as the place remains covered under 8-10 feet of snow which makes it difficult for people to reach it. PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Ganderbal: With good tourist footfall during the summer season, the hoteliers and traders at the world-famous tourist destination Sonamarg anticipate increased arrivals during the winter months. The locals as well as tourism stakeholders have also hailed the government’s decision to keep the place accessible during winter for tourists who are currently enjoying the scenic beauty of the resort.

In previous years, Sonamarg would be closed for traffic movement during the winter season due to heavy snowfall and avalanches, particularly in the Hung area along the road from Gagangeer. However, with the completion of the Z-Morh tunnel, which bypasses the avalanche-prone area, the administration is making efforts to make Sonamarg a winter tourist destination in Kashmir.

An official of the district administration said that all concerned departments are actively engaged in providing the basic infrastructure needed during winter, including electricity and water supply.

“This initiative of administration has brought cheers to the faces of hoteliers, traders and even tourists from various parts of the country who are keen to enjoy the picturesque beauty of ‘Meadow of Gold’.

Tourists are praising the hospitality of the local people and the cooperation of traders and hoteliers. Some returning visitors, who hadn’t been to Kashmir in the last three years, have noticed significant changes on the ground, including the development of infrastructure and roads.

“Once the destination will be thrown open during winter, it will not only boost the economy but also provide relief to the people of various villages who used to migrate for long periods during these months,” the official said.

District Commissioner Ganderbal and Director of Tourism, during their recent visit to Sonamarg, called for providing all necessary facilities to tourists, including heating arrangements in hotels, water, and electricity. They directed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sonamarg Development Authority (SDA) to devise a proper mechanism for its wide publicity as a winter tourist destination.

CEO SDA Ilyas Ahmed said that they are ready from all aspects. He said winter games are also scheduled to attract tourists, which will further enhance the overall experience.

“The opening of Sonamarg during winter is anticipated to not only boost the local economy but also provide relief to villagers who used to migrate for extended periods during the winter months,” Ahmed said

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