Srinagar, Dec 20: The footfall of tourists has increased in Kashmir ahead of the Christmas and New Year eve.
Officials in the Tourism Department told Precious Kashmir on Sunday that the early snowfall has attracted a huge number of tourists from outside J&K as well as the locals.
They said that the footfall of tourists has increased in this (December) month, saying that after the snowfall in the Valley, the world famous ski-resort witnessed surge in the arrival of tourists.
“We are expecting further increase in the arrival of tourists. Besides, we are expecting jam-packed hotels on the Christmas and New Year eve at Gulmarg and Pahalgam,” a top official told this newspaper, adding that hoteliers as per the details collected have been receiving bookings in good number for Christmas and New Year eve.
The official also said that the department has already started winter games and other programs to attract more tourists on Christmas and New Year eve.
Giving details about footfall of tourists this year, he said less than 17,000 tourists visited Kashmir due to the pandemic that claimed over 1800 lives so far in J&K, adding that over 6000 tourists visited Kashmir after August till October end.
It is worth to mention here that tourism players in J&K suffered huge losses since August 3, 2019 when the government issued advisory for tourists, asking them to leave Kashmir immediately, two days ahead of the abrogation of Article 370.
The footfall of tourists witnessed decrease even after the advisory for tourists was lifted as the outbreak of COVID-19 added to the miseries of tourism players.
Pertinently, on Saturday, Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez chaired a meeting at TRC Srinagar to review the preparations for the events being held at Gulmarg.
The official statement in this regard stated that with the onset of Winter and on the eve of Christmas and the New Year, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism is all geared up to celebrate and organise various gala events in the coming weeks across various Tourism destinations in both the Kashmir and Jammu Divisions.