As tourist arrivals spiked, the region witnessed huge traffic jams.(Pixabay)
As tourist arrivals spiked, the region witnessed huge traffic jams.(Pixabay)

Kashmir again abuzz with tourists in New Year

After a lull of nearly one-and-a-half years, Kashmir was again abuzz with tourists as thousands of people from different parts of the country descended on the picturesque Gulmarg, Pahalgam and other areas of the valley for the New Year.
By Press Trust of India | Posted by Jahnavi Gupta | Srinagar
UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2021 12:11 PM IST

After a lull of nearly one-and-a-half years, Kashmir was again abuzz with tourists as thousands of people from different parts of the country descended on the picturesque Gulmarg, Pahalgam and other areas of the valley for the New Year.

As tourist arrivals spiked, the region witnessed huge traffic jams. The situation was such in the popular skiing destination Gulmarg that some tourists had to ring in the New Year from their vehicles stuck in traffic.

“One needs to understand that global destinations are ruled out due to the pandemic and Kashmir became an obvious choice for domestic travellers,” says Nighat Shah, the reservation manager with a prominent hotel chain in Srinagar and Gulmarg.

Hotels and resorts organised various events on the New Year’s Eve. Firecrackers illuminated the sky and musical shows enthralled the tourists.

The tourism department too organised an event in Gulmarg that drew a large number of visitors. Kashmir Divisional Commissioner P K Pole was the chief guest at the event.

“After all, people have undergone a lot of stress during 2020. Our effort was to help them de-stress,” says Masroor Hussain, the general manager of a hotel in Srinagar.

Managing Director of Ahad Group of Hotels Asif Burza says that after many years the tourism industry in the valley has seen such a busy December.

“Not only in Gulmarg, occupancy of hotels in Pahalgam and Srinagar too increased. There is a feel good factor in the tourism industry and we are looking forward to a great season ahead,” he said.

He thanked the Kashmir administration for controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. “Of course the Covid crisis was well managed.... It encouraged tourists to visit,” he said.

With the pandemic upsetting plans of travel to Europe, Kashmir emerged as the most preferred destination for tourists, he said.

Hussain feels that efforts made by hoteliers to woo domestic tourists by launching a programme, ‘Unlock Kashmir’, helped.

“It is a tough fight ahead. But, the aim of this programme was to garner support as Kashmir’s tourism can go to higher places if supported together by private and government players,” he said.

The tourism industry in Kashmir has suffered in the past few years for various reasons, particularly after the government imposed restrictions following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nighat Shah said that every tourist is well informed about the Covid-19 protocols and at the hotels “we follow all the Covid norms religiously. We undertake regular cleanliness drives and maintain quality and hygiene. We are committed to provide the best experience to the guests, but we also take extra precautions in view of the pandemic.” In Pahalgam, Rattan Shah from Gujarat said that he chose the destination after studying the impact of Covid-19 in Kashmir on a regular basis. “It was perfectly fine to be at a place where the impact is not so serious,” he said.

Summi Gupta and her husband Bimal feel that the decision to come to Kashmir was right. “Initially we were sceptical but after we came here, the hospitality of the people was amazing,” said Bimal. His wife nodded in agreement and added, “Work from home has its own stress. I guess it was a much-needed break.”

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Travelers must rely on instinct over algorithms for online hotel booking: Study

ANI, Washington Dc
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:21 PM IST
Researchers during a recent study found that travelers looking to book a hotel should believe their gut instinct instead of relying on computer algorithms to find fake reviews.
Close
The main aim of organizing this festival was to promote Doodhpathri as an attractive tourist resort just like Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Doodhpathri is a green, open meadow and beautiful valley about 42 kilometres from Srinagar. (Representational Image) (Unsplash)
The main aim of organizing this festival was to promote Doodhpathri as an attractive tourist resort just like Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Doodhpathri is a green, open meadow and beautiful valley about 42 kilometres from Srinagar. (Representational Image) (Unsplash)

Three-day festival held in J-K's Doodhpathri to promote tourism

ANI, Budgam (jammu And Kashmir) [india]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 06:17 PM IST
The Tourism department of Jammu and Kashmir kicked off a three-day tourism festival at Doodhpathri tourist resort in Budgam district on Saturday.
Close
Taj Mahal(Unsplash)
Taj Mahal(Unsplash)

Women's Day: Free entry for women visitors to all centrally protected monuments

PTI, India
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:25 PM IST
Women visitors, both foreign and Indian, will be allowed free entry to all centrally protected monuments on March 8 to mark International Women's Day, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said in an order on Saturday.
Close
The state relaxed guidelines for reopening outdoor venues. Covid-19 infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths have plunged, and vaccination rates are rising.(Unsplash)
The state relaxed guidelines for reopening outdoor venues. Covid-19 infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths have plunged, and vaccination rates are rising.(Unsplash)

California OKs reopening ball parks and Disneyland

AP, Sacramento, California
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:56 AM IST
California has cleared a path for fans to hit the stands at opening day baseball games and return to Disneyland nearly a year after coronavirus restrictions shuttered major entertainment spots.
Close
The move is designed to close a loophole which allowed travellers from Britain and Brazil to reach Portugal by stopping over in a country from which travel was authorised.(Unsplash)
The move is designed to close a loophole which allowed travellers from Britain and Brazil to reach Portugal by stopping over in a country from which travel was authorised.(Unsplash)

Portugal to quarantine passengers on indirect flights from UK, Brazil

Reuters, Lisbon
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:26 AM IST
Passengers flying indirectly to Portugal from Britain or Brazil must present a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before departure and quarantine for two weeks upon arrival from Sunday onward.
Close
Night and day in South America: Buenos Aires welcomes nightlife, new lockdowns in Brazil(Unsplashed)
Night and day in South America: Buenos Aires welcomes nightlife, new lockdowns in Brazil(Unsplashed)

Argentina reopens theater, welcomes nightlife as Brazil starts new lockdown

Reuters, Buenos Aires
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 08:03 AM IST
The two neighbouring countries in South America, Brazil and Argentina, are taking very different steps at the moment. While Buenos Aires is embracing the nightlife again, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have announced tighter restrictions.
Close
Maharashtra travellers to carry negative Covid-19 report in Madhya Pradesh(Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash)
Maharashtra travellers to carry negative Covid-19 report in Madhya Pradesh(Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash)

Maharashtra travellers to carry negative Covid-19 report in Madhya Pradesh

PTI
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 05:52 PM IST
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan makes it mandatory for travellers coming from Maharashtra to carry a negative coronavirus report as Covid-19 cases spike in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Betul, Chhindwara, Ujjain and the state's districts bordering Maharashtra
Close
Under current lockdown rules, holidays are banned and only those travelling for specific work or family reasons are allowed to go abroad.(Reuters)
Under current lockdown rules, holidays are banned and only those travelling for specific work or family reasons are allowed to go abroad.(Reuters)

Britain brings in new paperwork for lockdown travellers

Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:07 PM IST
Britain said on Friday it would require people travelling abroad from March 8 to carry a new form setting out why their trip was permitted under strict lockdown restrictions.
Close
The decision was taken in view of an uptick in the number of coronavirus infections in the neighbouring states.(Unsplash)
The decision was taken in view of an uptick in the number of coronavirus infections in the neighbouring states.(Unsplash)

Negative Covid-19 report mandatory for people travelling to Rajasthan

PTI, Jaipur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:15 AM IST
The Rajasthan government on Friday made it mandatory for people coming from Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat to furnish a Covid-19 negative report on arrival in the state.
Close
Tunisia hopes to save its tourism season, as it will ease Covid-19 measures(Pexels)
Tunisia hopes to save its tourism season, as it will ease Covid-19 measures(Pexels)

Tunisia eases Covid-19 measures in hope to save tourism season

Reuters, Tunis
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:35 AM IST
The Health Ministry of Tunisia, on Friday, revealed that they will ease the Covid-19 protocols, including nighttime curfew, quarantine for visitors and movement between cities in an attempt to bring the tourists back.
Close
'Skyrocketing demand' for flights to Mallorca as UK plans to end lockdown(Photo by Osman Yunus Bekcan on Unsplash)
'Skyrocketing demand' for flights to Mallorca as UK plans to end lockdown(Photo by Osman Yunus Bekcan on Unsplash)

'Skyrocketing demand' for flights to Mallorca as UK plans to end lockdown

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 08:03 PM IST
Flights from the UK to Mallorca witness 'skyrocketing demand' as holiday fever grips Great Britain amid announcements to exit lockdown
Close
Cyprus targets return in tourist traffic, opens door to Covid vaccinated Britons(Twitter/celebrityradio)
Cyprus targets return in tourist traffic, opens door to Covid vaccinated Britons(Twitter/celebrityradio)

Cyprus targets return in tourist traffic, opens door to Covid vaccinated Britons

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 07:32 PM IST
Eastern Mediterranean's island nation, Cyprus, will admit elderly UK holidaymakers or visitors from Britain from May 1, provided they have had a second dose of an European Medicines Agency-approved Covid-19 vaccine at least seven days before travelling
Close
Demand is growing for tree-houses and boathouses as people seek to isolate better while on holiday, says Airbnb.
Demand is growing for tree-houses and boathouses as people seek to isolate better while on holiday, says Airbnb.

Up in the air: The future of travel

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:59 PM IST
It will be years before we jet about again, as we used to. But closer to home, new kinds of experiences are already taking shape.
Close
Grounded by the pandemic: The woes of a once-frequent flier
Grounded by the pandemic: The woes of a once-frequent flier

Grounded by the pandemic: The woes of a once-frequent flier

By Melissa D’Costa
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:35 PM IST
“I miss the hotel breakfasts more than I would have expected,” says Bhaskar Pal, 48, a content lead with Dolby Technology.
Close
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic a year ago, carriers sought to suspend EU rules requiring refunds for cancellations. They instead issued vouchers to customers as hundreds of thousands of flights were grounded.(Unsplash)
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic a year ago, carriers sought to suspend EU rules requiring refunds for cancellations. They instead issued vouchers to customers as hundreds of thousands of flights were grounded.(Unsplash)

Airlines urge relaxation on refunds as EU probes passenger rights

Reuters, Brussels
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 10:45 AM IST
European airlines on Thursday renewed a push to relax refund rules as EU auditors and the European Commission started separate probes into air passenger rights and whether they were being respected.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP