Sonmarg hoteliers ‘reluctant’ to take advance bookings for winter

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Despite government’s assurance of keeping the Sonmarg tourist destination open during winter, the hoteliers are reluctant to take advance bookings.

People associated with the hotel and tourism industry say the prospectus are not bright and they don’t think Sonmarg will be thrown open for tourists during winters.

Mushtaq Ahmed Chaya, President of the Hoteliers Club said that Sonmarg can remain open for tourists during winter on the lines of Gulmarg, provided the administration takes drastic measures.

“There are apprehensions and hoteliers are in fact concerned,” he said adding that hotel owners have also announced a 30 percent discount for tourists who will visit Sonmarg in winter. “The ball is in the government’s court and it is the administration that has to ensure this tourist resort remains open.”

Allaying the apprehensions of the hoteliers, both Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal and CEO Sonmarg Development Authority said that all the concerned department has been directed to ensure Sonmarg remains open throughout winter.

District Development Commissioner Ganderbal, Shyambir said that the administration has already held a meeting in this regard in which responsibilities have been assigned to the relevant departments.

He said that the tunnel will also be opened on a trial basis from November 15 so that tourists can enjoy the snowy mountains of Sonmarg during winter.

“We will ensure there is uninterrupted power and water supply and snow is cleared from the roads without any delay,” he said.

Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, Chief Executive Officer Sonmarg Development Authority said this winter Sonmarg will remain open for tourists and hoteliers need not worry. (KNT)

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