Amid heatwave, Kashmir is tourists’ favourite destination

Amid heatwave, Kashmir is tourists’ favourite destination

Srinagar: In May, there is an unusual rush of tourists both by road and by air to the Kashmir valley. Tourism department officials said that the rush is unusual and unprecedented.

Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez told this newspaper that in the current year, the tourism industry will witness a revival. According to him many tourists prefer unexplored tourism spots of Kashmir valley and added that the government has already identified 75 new tourist destinations in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that there are a lot of travelers and tourists who prefer to go to Aroo Valley in Pahalgam, Gurez Valley in Bandipora and Lolab Valley of Kupwara. He said that in Kupwara there is a lot of rush from tourists and travelers to see Bangus valley, a lush green meadow which has remained largely unexplored.
J&K Tourism officials claim that they are working very hard to get back tourists along with the stakeholders. Director Tourism Kashmir has recently cautioned all the stakeholders, especially the service providers not to indulge in any kind of cheating with tourists.
Recently, a team of officers of the Tourism Department conducted checks of various hotels in the city to check the services and their pricing being offered to visitors.
The unusual tourist rush in the month of May is being attributed by stakeholders to multiple heat waves across the country and Kashmir being the only place for the respite from such heat. All the hotels and houseboats are booked not only for the present month but also for the coming summer months as the government is going to hold Amarnath Yatra after three years of disruption.
The 43-day-long yatra would be started from 30 June this year and the government has taken elaborate security measures for the safety and security of the yatries from the twin routes of Baltal in Sonmarg and at Nunwan in Pahalgam. Travel agents are brimming with confidence and business and most of them predict that there would be a full booking till winters in Kashmir valley if the situation remains peaceful and conducive. “We are expecting a lot of yatries to stay in Dal Lake and other parts of the city after their yatra is complete. We have huge bookings of such nature presently from various parts of the country,” said Sheikh Nisar Ahmad who is a local travel agent from Srinagar.

Sunday Guardian

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