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Jammu KashmirGulmarg ‘Sold Out’ for Christmas, New Year

Gulmarg ‘Sold Out’ for Christmas, New Year


Srinagar, Dec 22: Tourists are heading to in droves to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year, with hotels at the famous destinations in the valley sold out for the weeks ahead, especially in anticipation of snowfall.

Officials said tourists are making a beeline to Kashmir, especially to the famous ski resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, and Pahalgam, in south Kashmir's Anantnag.

Describing it as a positive indication, Secretary Syed Abid Rasheed Shah said he was confident that the winter months would be successful for Kashmir's tourism.

“The way the numbers and trends are coming, with both domestic as well as foreign tourists, my expectation is that the winters will be a grand success. Destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam are already sold out. Gulmarg is totally sold out for Christmas and the New Year's Eve. This is a very positive indication,” he said.

Gulmarg, the tourist destination at an altitude of 8,000 feet, 50 km north of summer capital Srinagar, is also known as the ‘Switzerland of Asia'.

Shah said warm hospitality of the people of Kashmir and all the stakeholders have played an important role in reviving tourism.

The tourism department has lined up various activities to enrich the experience of New Year revellers as a number of programmes have been planned for the New Year's Eve, including a musical evening, a firecracker show, night skiing, and torch skiing.

Asif Burza, a young hotelier who is the managing director of Ahad Hotels and Resorts – a chain of hotels across various destinations in the valley – said the recent snowfall has increased tourist influx to Kashmir.

“The tourist arrivals and bookings are looking great. Hotels in Gulmarg are fully booked, while occupancy in Pahalgam and even in Srinagar is very good,” Burza said. He said the tourism players are expecting the footfall to improve further with snowfall in the coming days.

“Hotels are fully booked for the last ten days of December and the first week of January,” he added.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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