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After many years of slump, Kashmir woos foreign tourists again
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After many years of slump, Kashmir woos foreign tourists again

Expecting huge footfall from across the world  this winter: Officials

Post by Aatif Qayoom on Thursday, December 15, 2022

First slide
Srinagar, Dec 14: After a long gap of many years, international tourists have started visiting  the valley while the tourism department  hopes there will be a huge footfall of international tourists in Kashmir this winter season.
According to the officials of the department of tourism  Kashmir, there was a significant drop in the arrival of international tourists in the valley with the outbreak of COVID-19 triggering visa issues.
An official revealed that with the ease in international travel guidelines and resumption of international flights recently, visitors were getting easy access to visas which was likely  to make   this winter  season  vibrant with the arrival of  foriegn tourists.
He revealed that to keep Kashmir Valley abuzz with tourists, the department was gearing up to organise different activities to attract more tourists.
According to the secretary of tourism, Sarmand Hafeez, foreign tourists have started visiting the Kashmir valley. He said that post COVID-19, there was a travel ban and tourists were unable to access international flights. 
He said international flights had resumed and visas were now available to the visitors from different countries.
He said tourists from east Asian and European countries   had started visiting the valley recently, and in the coming days, a large number of tourists were expected to visit Kashmir valley.
Officials said that the department had decided to keep the other destinations open this winter, and basic skiing courses would be organised to engage the visitors.
Officials said that promoting winter tourism would create more employment avenues for the locals and tourism players who can add these destinations to their itineraries and sell Kashmir as a winter tourist destination.
Speaking to Rising Kashmir chairman of Hotelier club Jammu and Kashmi Mushtaq Chaya said the resumption of international tourism in the Kashmir valley is a welcome step and we aspire that more tourists around the globe will visit Kashmir.
"We are doing our best to provide every assistance to visitors here, and we are always ready to provide any support to the tourism department in this regard." Mushtaq said.
An official said that the department is doing its best to promote Kashmir tourism at the international level. 
To mention, Gulmarg has always attracted tourists during the winter. Doodhpathri in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district is the latest addition to the list, as both of these destinations can be reached by road.
"The department is engaged to hold the winter games at the Gulmarg, where players across the country will participate, and some international skiers are also expected to visit  Gulmarg during the winter games. Furthermore, the department will organise basic ski courses at all winter tourist destinations in collaboration with other agencies," officials said.
Yaqoob Donu, spokesman of the houseboat association in Kashmir, told Rising Kashmir  "Previously international visitors were facing issues with getting their visas as there were certain criterias to get a visa, but now the ministry of external affairs has recently made a visa easily accessible. This can increase the footfall of international tourism and also boost the economy of Kashmir valley."
He said that the resumption of international tourism in the valley would  send across a positive message and more tourists may prefer to  visit again.

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