Tourism sector is hopeful of a profitable holiday season as the past four weeks have seen a surge in the tourist footfall.
Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonmarg are seeing huge rush of tourists, Even in Srinagar city, most of the hotels are completely booked due to the extraordinary rush of tourists.
“It is the beginning of a new chapter. We are confident that our efforts to promote Kashmir as a tourism destination and the involvement of local stakeholders played a key role in the turnaround,” commissioner secretary, tourism, Sarmad Hafeez, said.
“Apart from local tourists, we witnessed a large flow of high-end tourists in last year. There were people who wanted to go to other tourist destinations to spend their holidays but couldn’t go due to COVID-19 pandemic, and we are trying to grab the opportunity and attract them to Kashmir by promoting several activities,” Hafeez added.
Kashmir attracted tourists despite two adverse factors; one, the looming threat of the novel coronavirus kept humanity on edge last year, too, due to its ability to churn out new variants.
Two, Kashmir being pulled into a vortex of fear and uncertainty due to a spree of targeted killings involving members of minority communities, migrant workers and security forces.
“It is a good sign,” explained a hotelier in Gulmarg, who did not wish to be named. “For a long time, we have been demanding that the political situation should be delinked from the tourism sector. It concerns the livelihood of thousands of people, and now it seems to be happening at the right time.”
Meanwhile, according to official data available at least 36,473 visitors thronged Tulip garden on the first Sunday after it’s opening.
As per the official figures, a total of 11,143 visitors visited the garden on the first day of its opening on March 23, which include 4391 locals, 6751 national and one international visitor.