Snowfall in Kashmir Photograph:( WION )
According to the tourist department records, 6,40,000 tourists have arrived in the Kashmir Valley this year.
The tourism industry in Kashmir Valley is finally back on track. Tourist arrivals have broken the record of the past ten years. Around 6.5 lakh tourists have visited Kashmir Valley this year with December witnessing the maximum arrivals. All the hotels in the hill stations of Gulmarg and Pahalgam are completely packed for the New Year.
According to the tourist department records, 6,40,000 tourists have arrived in the Kashmir Valley this year. The month of December saw the maximum number of tourists arriving in Kashmir Valley at 1.18 lakhs in just 25 days. The data also said that 1.27 lakh tourists visited in the month of November this year. While witnessing the autumn season in the month of October, 93,000 tourists came down to Kashmir.
''This year the arrival of tourists has crossed the 6-lakh mark, we expect it to be more in the coming days. This is the result of the work done by the department and stakeholders during post-Covid because of the vigorous marketing campaign and vaccination drive among the tourism stakeholders due to which we have seen results in terms of the footfall. 97 stakeholders are fully vaccinated. We went to tourism markets across the country to give them a message that we are ready and now we are seeing the results, '' said Ahsan Ul Haq, deputy director, tourism department.
The tourism department has also added some new lesser-known destinations this year for tourists to explore. Around 75 such destinations have been added to the list of must-visit places in Kashmir Valley. And it has seen a great response from the people visiting.
''The department took a very historic decision this year, an initiative of opening up and promoting some 75 lesser-known destinations and there has been a certain demand from tourists to visit these places. This year Gurez has seen a tremendous rush of tourists, we are trying to keep Sonamarg open for the winters, Pahalgam will also be hosting new year celebrations. We are also working more on adventure and heritage like promotion of skiing and trekking which has attracted many tourists,'' said Ahsan Ul Haq.
The government of Jammu and Kashmir will now focus on adventure and heritage tourism to boost the future tourism industry in the Union Territory. They will soon start the winter sports festival in destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam.