Tourism in Kashmir looking up as initiatives to increase footfall pay off
As many as 75 places have been identified for recreational facilities in the Union Territory
It never happened before in the recent past in Kashmir. The Union Territory attracted 1,27,605 tourists in November 2021, breaking all records of the past seven years. Buoyed by such growth in the footfalls in the UT, the administration is making all possible efforts to uplift the tourism in Kashmir.
“Doodpathri is being developed as the best winter tourist spot, where activities like snow ski, snow- boarding, snow cycling, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) facility and other snow related activities will be held every winter,” Director, Tourism Kashmir G N Itoo said.
He further said such “activities will not only promote the tourist footfall, but also will create employment for the locals.”
“The event will be a game changer for this destination. Tourists would come here for pony rides only till now, but now they will have other activities too just like Gulmarg and Pahalgam,” the Director said, adding that “A full- fledged snow sports equipment facility shall remain available for the tourists. Basic ski courses for students, tourists and other locals will be provided during winters.”
Deputy Commissioner of Budgam too claimed that the district has great potential for tourism and Doodpathri, Yousmarg and Tosamaidan destinations would be developed as best winter tourism spots.
“This is for the first time that a road was made through up to Doodpathri during winter season. A comprehensive tourism plan shall be devised and implemented under which all facilities shall be provided to the tourists,” he said.
Last year, Kashmir tourism got a further push through Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah's tweets.
“Whenever you get the opportunity, do visit Jammu and Kashmir and witness the scenic Tulip festival. In addition to the Tulips, you will experience the warm hospitality of the people of J&K,” PM Modi tweeted last year, highlighting the distinctive features of both the place and its people.
In November and December, 2021, J&K witnessed a huge rush of tourists. As many as 2.5 lakh people visited Kashmir in these two months last year. To boost further footfalls in the UT administration organized roadshows both across India and foreign countries.
Already, 75 places have been identified for recreational facilities in the UT, where activities like white water rafting championship, Jammu festival, Lohri festival and Mata Vaishno Devi Sangeet have also been added to the tourism calendar of the region. Christmas and Winter carnivals in Gulmarg and Pahalgam have all been a hit among the locals as well as tourists.
Recently, during the Dubai Expo, the UT administration secured many deals to uplift business in Kashmir and MoUs with UAE’s Pioneering Financial Services company and Century Financial were signed. These companies will invest $100 million in the UT.
This investment will cover three hotels and one commercial cum residential complex in the UT.