While the Valley witnessed a less number of tourists footfall due to the last year’s (2016) uprising, the tourist destination of Sonamarg in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district is witnessing a huge rush of locals as well as the domestic tourists. The influx of tourists at summer resort, Sonamarg to beat the heat has brought a sigh of relief to the tourism players here who earlier complained slump in the tourist arrivals.
“Following the unrest last year (2016), the tourist arrivals had ebbed considerably. However, for last some days the tourist resort Sonamarg is witnessing a modest increase in the tourist inflow,” said a tour operator.
With the gradual arrival of the tourists, the people associated with tourism trade have begun to feel relieved.
“The decline in the tourist rush to various destinations of Kashmir last year caused a huge financial loss to us. But now, the tourists have started coming back and I have been doing some good business for the last few days,” Manzoor Ahmad Sheikh, a hotelier said.
The tourism operators here are hopeful that the rush will further pick up in the coming days.
“There was a decrease in the number of tourists visiting here, but now the tourist rush has increased modestly and we hope in the coming days the arrivals would further improve,” Shabir Ahmad, a ponny wala at Sonamarg said.
Sonamarg is known for its scenery worldwide with Thajiwas Glacier, Fish Point, Zero Point, Gadkul and other scenic spots adding to its charm.
Pertinently, the state government in collaboration with tour and travel operators organized many programmes in different states of India to woo the tourists towards the Valley.
“May be this activity by the government too has compelled some travel buffs to plan a visit to Sonamarg,” another hotelier said.