Gulmarg: The beginning of the winter sports festival in Gulmarg and the year-end celebrations which are in place have brought cheer to the tourism stakeholders as various destinations across the valley are brimming with tourists, Gulmarg being one of them.
The winter sports event organised by Department of Tourism started at Gulmarg on Sunday with the Snow Shoe run and skiing, adding to the footfall of the tourists.
The event saw a large participation of locals and tourists who had turned up at Gulmarg to witness snow capped meadows and also enjoy skiing at the famed tourist resort.
“Since Sunday- the day winter sports events were inaugurated, the influx of tourists has picked up. This rush is likely to continue as Christmas event, is also a week away” , Rameez Ahmed Manager ‘Pine View Resort Gulmarg’ told ‘Kashmir Vision’.
“A lot of tourists from Japan and Ladakh are staying in our hotel, as they (Japanese and Ladakhi’s) are well acquainted with winter sports games and they usually come here during winters, ” Rameez added.
Another hotelier from Gulmarg said that his hotel is running out of space as the bookings are almost complete. “December, January are almost completely sold out and we cannot entertain any further tourists although a rally of new queries are pouring in. We are running out of space” Muhammad Altaf Manager Hilltop Hotel said.
“We expect the footfall to increase as the Tourism Department has a long list of events which will further enhance the tourist footfall” Altaf further added.
Pertinently the Tourism Department is organizing a lot of events including snowboarding, ice-staking, heli-skiing besides musical events during winter months to attract tourists to Gulmarg.
Ice-climbing event which are going on in Gulmarg have also been planned for Pahalgam on December 31 besides Christmas Eve which will be celebrated on 25 December in Gulmarg, followed by the ‘Snow Carnival’ which will be celebrated from 8th to 14th January in Gulmarg and besides the ice-climbing event, New year will also be celebrated in Pahalgam around March and April.