J&K: Gulmarg witnesses increase in tourists, attracts film crews

at 1:50 pm
kashmir valley

Neyaz Elahi

Srinagar (NVI): With the increase in footfall of tourists, Kashmir’s tourist spots including famous ski resort of Gulmarg have once again come to life as films and television crews are returning to the valley.

The Kashmir Valley witnessed drastic decrease in tourists footfall after abrogation of special status of J&K and outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

G.N Itoo who recently assumed the charge of Director of Tourism said that, there is an increase in tourist flow while lots of activities are going on in famous tourist resorts of Kashmir Valley. “We are hopeful about the arrival of more and more tourists both within and outside the country,” Itoo added.

He also said that not only tourist spots but Dal Lake which lies in the heart of the Srinagar city is also abuzz with tourist activities.

Recently, a Mumbai based production shot a music album in this world famous lake, while scores of locals were seen enjoying the shooting in Shikaras.

Prasanjit one of the crew members told NVI that, “Kashmir is a wonderful place. We all were mesmerized with its beauty. People are cooperative and friendly. I have decided to visit this place at least once a year.”

The Bollywood teams can be seen shooting for different films, dramas and weddings in Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Pahalgam, much to the satisfaction of the Department of Tourism.

“It’s good when you see tourism sector back to life in Kashmir. Equally it is good to see film crews from Bollywood shooting here,” Nazir Ahmed, an official from Tourism Department said to NVI.

He said after the recent fresh spells of snowfall, the tourist flow has picked up in Kashmir considerably. “Various events are being organized to promote tourism in Kashmir. Kids from outside Kashmir are arriving in Gulmarg taking skiing courses, besides completion in sculpture art was organized that attracted the attention of lot of people,” the official added.

Apart from this, a recently established Igloo café at Gulmarg also attracted the attention of almost every visitor.

Hotelier Wasim Shah set up this café on the lines of ones he had seen in countries like Canada, Finland and Switzerland. He came up with the idea of introducing one in Gulmarg.

“I loved visiting this Café. The tea was good. I will cherish every moment I spend at snow-white Gulmarg particularly in Kashmir,” Dev Kumar, a tourist from Maharashtra said.