The officials in the state government have a new idea of attracting tourists to Kashmir. The tourism department is holding road shows in China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and middle-east countries to lure tourists to a land torn by years of separatist violence.
“Middle-east and far-east countries will be our thrust areas. There is no advisory to the residents in these countries against visiting Kashmir. We will hold road shows in these countries”, Farooq Shah, director tourism department said. He is sure that given the fabulous beauty, foreign tourists could be wooed to visit Kashmir.
Kashmir has the highest Gondola (cable car) at Gulmarg extending to the peak of Aphravat at an elevation of 3980 metres above sea level, which provides lift served access to 1330 vertical metres of vast snow riding terrain for the skiers. Gulmarg remained home for a large number of foreign as well as domestic skiers this winter.
The Royal Spring Golf Course in Srinagar also lists among 10 top golf courses in the world. The authorities in the tourism department say that with the added breathtaking views of Pahalgam, they could be able to sell it to the foreign tourists.
As a part of their campaign, the state tourism department officials are participating in two international travel marts in Dubai and Bahrain, next month.
“We are determined to lure tourists in large numbers from middle and far-eastern countries”, Shah said adding “we are introducing water skiing in the Dal lake and rafting in river Lidder in Pahalgam to add up to the tastes of visitors”.
He said that Tulip gardens are also being brought up at Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Tulip has already become a major attraction for the tourists in Srinagar. With over 350,000 Tulip bulbs, one of the Asia’s biggest Tulip garden known as Siraj Bagh has come up in the Zabarwan hills on the bank of Dal Lake under the aegis state floriculture department.