Bandipora, Mar 31: With two-way traffic movement on the Bandipora-Gurez road set to open from Friday, the Dard-Shina locals in Gurez Tehsil have started advocating for ‘border tourism’.
Gurez valley, situated adjacent to the LoC, has remained under the shadow of guns for decades. Now, with things comparatively better, the region’s massive tourism potential, which the government also started promoting last year, could change the dynamics of the region.
After guns of India and Pakistan fell silent at Line of Control (LoC), the love for sports, development and tourism has emerged in the area with people saying they are waiting for tourists from far and wide now.
The locals from Gurez said that as spring approaches, people are waiting for tourists and preparations to offer them travel and tourist services are in full swing. “The restaurants are being decorated while the potential tourist areas are also being considered,” they said.
The locals said that they are constantly in touch with the administration to promote tourism in the snow-bound Valley.
Arif Ahmad, a local, said that more tourists than last year are expected to come this year and preparations for their arrival have been going on here for the last several days. “Gurez is one of the best tourist destinations in the border areas of Kashmir, so people across the country should come here and enjoy it,” he said.
“We are very hopeful that our beautiful Gurez valley will be made a tourist hub by the government this year,” said Owais Khan, another local resident.
Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Sarmad Hafeez said that the government is planning to open border tourism and Gurez is the prime location among the list prepared by the Kashmir Tourism department.
“Gurez valley is emerging as the most beautiful tourist destination in Kashmir. With this in mind, our focus on this area will be more this year,” he said, adding that trekking adventure activities will be held there this year.