Srinagar, Dec 09: As winter sets in, the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department is mulling adding two more key tourist destinations to the same league as Pahalgam and Gulmarg ski resort aiming to attract more footfalls to the region.
According to a report, the union territory has hosted around 1.62 crore tourists in the first nine months of the year -- the highest in any year over the past several decades. Director of Tourism Fazl-ul-Haseeb said that special arrangements were being made to accommodate the rush this season.
"We are planning to go ahead with two-three roadshows as well as the Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF) for this month to woo the tourists from different parts of the country to the Kashmir Valley," the report quoted him as saying.
The official highlighted that the department is mulling adding two picturesque destinations to the already list of key attractions for the first time this winter.
"Activities will be conducted in collaboration with Youth Services and Sports to attract the tourists further to the Valley," the report quoted the Director as saying.
According to the report, the winter carnival, ice city and other related events being planned for this winter's catch will take place at these two new destinations alongside Pahalgam and Gulmarg.
"If the other two destinations remain open this winter, it will help to give a further boost to the tourism sector in the Valley," the report quoted him as saying.
Like the government, the hoteliers too are hopeful of the massive tourist footfall this winter and said that at many places they have already announced concessions in rates to attract tourists from outside Jammu and Kashmir.
Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, a prominent hotelier and chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club said that the hoteliers are upbeat witnessing good winter tourism in the Valley.
"We are expecting jam-packed hotels in Gulmarg, Pahalgam and in Sonamarg as well," the report quoted him as saying.
As far as Sonamarg is concerned, the district administration should take adequate measures and ensure that the basic facilities like water, electricity and clear roads for the wellbeing of the tourists, he said.
He added that the concerned department should also go for further promotion of Gulmarg and Pahalgam with the travel trade and others.
"The hoteliers in Sonamarg have already announced discounts for the tourists. We are ready to take any decision and extend our support to the government in any manner for the purpose of tourism," he said. (ANI)