7 ambassadors among 75 golfers arriving to play tournament
SRINAGAR: About 75 golfers will arrive in Kashmir this weekend to play a golf tournament in Pahalgam, an event that is expected to promote golf tourism in India, Tourism Secretary Sarmed Hafeez told Kashmir Reader.
He said that golfers are scheduled to play the tournament on October 8-9 at the Pahalgam golf course.
“This will help us to get high-end tourists, who will stay for longer, spend more. This will also generate hype and publicity that will bring tourists to the Valley,” Hafeez said.
The administration is organising the event in collaboration with the PHD Chamber of Commerce. The guests would be also visiting various places in Kashmir, spending their own money. In total, 200 players would play the tournament, seven of whom would be ambassadors of various countries.
Pahalgam is one of the six golf courses in Jammu and Kashmir, of which three are in Srinagar, and one each at Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Jammu.
Besides golf, Kashmir has mountains, glaciers, and water bodies for tourists to relish. The Pahalgam golf course rests at an altitude of 2,150m, surrounded by snow-clad mountains and water bodies in deep gorges.
“The event is being held after a long time. Though it is not the first one, it will work in its own way. It will definitely have a multiplier effect on our economy at large,” Hafeez added.
The event is being held at a time when Kashmir is set for the autumn season, and winter is approaching. Last year, Kashmir had a bumper tourism winter season after many years. Such was the impact that Kashmir was booked till June this year, but the Covid lockdown reversed the gains. Now tourists have begun to arrive again. Around 77,000 tourists have visited Kashmir between January and March this year.
Chairperson of the Kashmir chapter of PHD Chamber of Commerce, Baldev Singh, told Kashmir Reader that the aim is to get Pahalgam ready for the winter season this year, because it too has winter tourism potential like Gulmarg has.
“So, we expect that Pahalgam will host tourists in large numbers this winter, like Gulmarg. Kashmir has suffered huge losses over the last five years, but now efforts are at work to get the economy back on track,” Singh said.