GULMARAG, Dec 13: Gulmarag, a tourist resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, has experienced an extraordinary surge in tourism this year, attracting approximately 15 lakh visitors. Among these visitors, a notable figure of 9,750 were foreign tourists.
An official told Kashmir Despatch that alongside the impressive numbers of foreign tourists, the resort also welcomed 10 lakh domestic tourists and 30,000 local tourists. This influx has undoubtedly contributed to the flourishing tourism industry in Gulmarg.
The Directorate of Tourism shared a detailed information to Kashmir Despatch which reads, from January to November. During this period, a total of 1,503,606 visitors explored the beauty and offerings of Gulmarg. Among these, 1,097,983 were domestic tourists, 395,873 were local tourists, and 9,750 hailed from various foreign countries.
The data highlighted that Gulmarg witnessed a particularly high number of foreign tourists during the winter months of January, February, and March, with a total of 3,761 visitors. Additionally, August and October also saw an influx of foreign tourists, with 1,228 and 1,047 respectively.
The data further revealed that the peak tourist season in Gulmarg occurred during June and July, where the region experienced the highest footfall with 208,011 and 215,465 visitors respectively.
Talking to Kashmir Despatch a civil department officer said that the surge in tourism to Kashmir tourist spots is a clear indication of the peaceful environment in Naya Kashmir. Tourists from all around the world are flocking to experience the tranquility and serenity that the region offers he said
Sajad a hotelier at Gulmarg told Kashmir Despatch that the peaceful situation in Kashmir has been a result of the concerted efforts made by the government and locals to maintain a harmonious atmosphere. This surge in tourism not only brings economic prosperity to the region but also helps in projecting a positive image of Kashmir to the world he added.
He said visitors are delighted by the natural beauty, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural heritage that Kashmir has to offer.
Pertinently, the increase in tourist footfall has led to the growth of various tourism-related industries, creating employment opportunities for the local population.
This positive trend is not only boosting the economy of the region but also improving the standard of living for many.
A tourism officer told Kashmir Despatch that, the rise in tourism signifies the growing confidence among travelers in the safety and security measures implemented in Kashmir. The government’s focus on ensuring the well-being of tourists has resulted in a seamless travel experience and a sense of comfort among visitors.
The peaceful situation in Kashmir has allowed for the development of infrastructure, including better roads, accommodation facilities, and improved connectivity he said.
The officer further said that tourists can now easily access the many attractions Kashmir has to offer, thereby enhancing their experience and promoting sustainable tourism.
Suhail Khan is a filmmaker, content writer, and freelance journalist.