SRINAGAR – After suffering immensely for the past two years due to the deadly pandemic, Kashmir’s tourism sector has got a big push as the ensuing month of March has recorded the highest ever tourist arrivals, breaking all records of the past ten years.
The Tourism department and the stakeholders associated with the sector have more to cheer as the majority of hotels and houseboats across Kashmir have advance bookings till May.
Talking to news agency, Director Tourism Kashmir, G N Itoo said that the ensuing month has registered a record number of tourist arrivals in Kashmir. “The figure is indeed the highest ever in the past ten years,” he said, not preferring to reveal the exact figure of tourists that visited Kashmir in March so far for obvious reasons.
He, however, claimed that the number of tourists that visited Kashmir in March is indeed the first time if compared to the past ten years.
Itoo said credit for the bumper tourism in March goes to the sustained tourism promotion campaign by the department and the serious efforts put in by all stakeholders including travel agents, tour operators, house boat owners, and even pony wallas.
“We hope to see record arrivals of tourists in the next two months given the advance bookings hotels and houseboat owners have received,” he beamed.
Secretary Tourism and Culture J&K, Sarmad Hafeez said that the Tourism department held a series of road shows and promotion campaigns in Bhubneshwar, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangaluru and other places to ensure tourists arrive in Kashmir. “A series of steps were taken to woo tourists to Kashmir as tourism suffered a lot due to the past two years of pandemic,” he said.
Hafeez said that the Tourism department worked on many fronts including promoting Tulip garden and Mughal gardens as tourist destinations besides presenting Almond bloom to tourists as well. “For the first time, Pahalgam was jam packed even in bone chilling winters. This indeed is an achievement. We are also showcasing Kashmir’s traditional food cuisine and various varieties of Kashmiri bread in gardens including Tulip garden,” he said, adding that tourists should enjoy different varieties of food and bread during their visit to Kashmir.
He also confirmed that the majority of hotels and houseboats of Kashmir have received advance booking which signifies that Valley is all set to host a large number of tourists this spring and for the rest of the year.