Monday May 21, 2018

What makes Gulmarg a favourite winter destination of Asia?

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Image: Vikas Manhas
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Initially known as Gauri Marg (Gauri – a manifestation of Shakti, Marg- path) by the shepherds, Gulmarg today is popular for its wide range of adventure sports.

There may not be any other hill resort with so many goodies of tourist attraction as Gulmarg. Voted as Asia’s number 7 Ski resort, Gulmarg is also the only heli-ski resort of Asia. With its slopes ranging between 8700 ft and 10500 ft, Gulmarg is India’s highest ski resort. The tourism in Gulmarg offers scope for both amateurs and professional skiers. Necessary equipment and skiing courses are made available for tourists every year (Dec- March). And wait, that’s not all!

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Gulmarg is credited with highest green golf course, as well. Gulmarg Gondola Ride serves a unique attraction to tourists of all age groups, and is considered one of the highest gondola rides in world. Fortunately, gondola ride facility is made available across the year and occasionally shuts down in unfavorable weather conditions. By now, if you are wondering what could the altitude of this hill resort be- it is situated at 2690 M (8830 ft.) ! This nature wonder is accessible by road through an exciting drive of mere 60 km from Srinagar Airport. Surrounded by the coniferous ever green forests makes it an ideal summer resort.

Not to disappoint the explorers, one can enjoy hikes and treks to visit some beautiful springs and Alpather Lake (frozen until June). Plenty of horses and ponies available for assistance.

Considering the traffic of visitors, both domestic and inbound, some new constructions have been allowed. Khyber Resorts & Spa and Vintage Hotel are the top two luxury accommodation, developed for the comforts of tourists.

Source: www.enjoyunlimited.com

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Kashmir becomes a favourite again this New Year’s Eve

"It is just like the old times in Gulmarg. I cannot fully express my joy when I see the numbers of tourists here today," said Abdul Gaffar, a pony owner here.

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Kashmir. Pixabay
  • This new year starts with a bang for Tourism industry in Kashmir as it experiences the sudden boom of the tourists.
  • Hoteliers and Resort owners are especially overjoyed with the prospect of increased Tourism.
  • Increased tourism is also indicating an increase in Kashmir’s economy.

New Year couldn’t be likely to begin on a better note for the tourist industry of Kashmir. This world-famous ski resort was completely sold out on Saturday as scores of tourists from far and near thronged the place to start celebrations on New Year’s Eve on Sunday.

“It is a great omen for the tourist industry of the state. Gulmarg is completely sold out as hundreds of tourists have arrived here to welcome 2018.

“All hotels and tourist huts are occupied as more arrivals are expected tomorrow as well. “We have domestic tourists as well as foreigners from Thailand, Malaysia and some other countries.

“Not only Gulmarg, all high-end hotels and those in the middle class range are completely booked in Srinagar city. Pahalgam tourist resort also has appreciable presence of tourists these days,” state Director, Tourism, Mehmood Shah told IANS.

He said that aggressive and realistic tourist wooing campaigns through social media by the Tourist Department and other stakeholders have started paying dividends now.

“What is encouraging is that domestic tourists from south India are now looking at Kashmir as a holiday and honeymoon destination. Hopefully, we will be having a wonderful tourist season this winter and during the coming spring and summer months,” Shah said.

2017 had not begun on a good note for the local tourist industry. Lesser number of tourists came to Kashmir during this year, but the sudden boom noticed around the New Year’s Eve, signifies that 2018 will be a welcome year.

 Kashmir tourism is seeing a boom after a year of stagnancy. Wikimedia
Kashmir tourism is seeing a boom after a year of stagnancy. Wikimedia

“We had very little occupancy during peak tourist periods in 2017, but given the number of tourist arrivals towards the year end, we are hopeful of a great season ahead”, said Altaf Ahmad, manager of Hilltop Hotel here.

Managers at the highend Khybir Resort also expressed satisfaction at the tourist arrivals around the year end.

Even when the temperature outside is around minus six degrees Celsius, Gulmarg is abuzz with life.

The increased tourism is a matter of joy for the Kashmir's economy. Wikimedia Commons
The increased tourism is a matter of joy for the Kashmir’s economy. Wikimedia Commons

Taxi operators, ponywallahs and others directly or indirectly associated with the tourist industry in Gulmarg hope the tempo sustains and 2018 proves to be a blessing for the tourist industry.

“It is just like the old times in Gulmarg. I cannot fully express my joy when I see the numbers of tourists here today,” said Abdul Gaffar, a pony owner here.

Hoteliers in Srinagar especially those around the Dal Lake are busy attending to their guests.

“It is great to see guests arrive in such numbers at this time of the year,” said a hotelier in the Boulevard Road area on the banks of the lake. IANS