Mubashir Aalam Wani
Srinagar, Oct 13: The recent snowfall in the upper reaches of Kashmir has led to the spurt in booking inquiries by the tourists.
Kashmir earlier this week recorded snowfall in the higher reaches while the MeT department has also predicted further snowfall in the mountainous regions.
Tourists from different states of India have started inquiring about tour packages for Kashmir, which during the autumn presents a blend of red and white hues.
“Winter is one of the peak seasons for tourism in Kashmir. We are already recording a good increase in the number of bookings due to the Puja holidays, the recent snowfall in the upper reaches has further enhanced it,” Umar Ahmad, a travel agent said.
He said as such inquiries for the Gondola cable car are very common, especially after the fresh snowfall in upper reaches.
“Tourists love to witness snow in Kashmir. The second phase of Gondola cable car also recorded a brief snowfall and tourists often inquired whether they could witness snowfall at the station,” he said.
Travel agents also said that this year inquiries are also coming in numbers for the winter season.
“The airfare has skyrocketed for the last few weeks. Tourists who are planning to visit the valley during winter book their tours in advance. At present they get good deals while hotels also don’t have full occupancy,” said Aijaz Ahmad dar, a tour operator.
Some of the most popular winter activities in Kashmir include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice skating. Visitors can also go on sleigh rides, visit frozen lakes, and explore the region’s many historical and cultural attractions.
Pertinently, the year so far has been lucrative for the tourism players as record-breaking tourists visited the valley in the last nine months.
Till August, as many as 1.6 Cr tourists including 31,000 foreign guests have visited Kashmir. Last year, a total of 26.73 lakh tourists visited Kashmir.
The government this year is planning a series of events during the autumn and winter seasons to ensure full adventure tours to the visitors.
While the rush of foreigners is expected to increase further during autumn, the government has started planning for winter adventures to enthrall the visitors during their stay in Kashmir.