Raja Syed Rather
Ganderbal, Dec 18 : Sonamarg in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district has emerged as a tourist hotspot, captivating nearly seven lakh visitors in the past eleven months.
“From January to November, there has been a surge in tourist numbers, totalling 674,566. This included 614,678 domestic visitors and 7,022 foreigners, marking a historic first-time visit to Sonamarg by 52,866 locals,” an official of the tourism department informed the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
He said the influx of tourists has significantly benefited local businesses and hospitality services and has led to increased demand for accommodations, guided tours and unique local experiences.
The literal translation of Sonamarg, meaning ‘The Meadow of Gold’ comes to life with snow-clad mountains against a spectacular blue sky at an altitude of 2730 meters, making it a mesmerising hill station in the Ganderbal district.
The economic impact of this tourism surge is evident, showcasing a notable boost in Sonamarg’s tourism sector. As the region continues to charm visitors with its pristine landscapes, alpine meadows, and awe-inspiring mountains, Sonamarg is poised to solidify its status as a must-visit destination on the global tourism map.
This success story reflects the natural beauty of Sonamarg and the collaborative efforts of stakeholders dedicated to promoting and sustaining tourism in this picturesque corner of the Ganderbal district.
Secretary of Tourism, Dr Abid Rashid Shah has emphasised the importance of disseminating a ‘Dos and Don’ts’ document for winter precautions, highlighting the role of hoteliers.
Similarly, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Shyambir has called for basic life support training and sensitisation programmes for hoteliers.
In a meeting held recently, the officials discussed winter activities, including skiing courses starting on January 10, 2024, and a mega New Year festival on December 31. The Secretary reiterated the administration’s commitment to promoting Sonamarg as an all-weather tourist destination—(KNO)