Srinagar: Authorities in Kashmir`s Gulmarg
Skiing resort have organised a fireworks show to entertain
tourists, who are arriving in thousands, as part of the New
"A maiden cracker show will be the highlight of the New
year celebrations," Chief Executive Officer of Gulmarg
Development Authority Mehmood Ahmad Shah told PTI.
He said the cracker show is part of the special
arrangements in connection with new year celebrations.
A star attraction for tourists visiting Kashmir during
winters, the snow-bound north Kashmir hill resort, 52 kms from
summer capital Srinagar, attracts new year revellers in hordes
and usually the celebrations last throughout the night.
"Presently, we have 70 per cent occupancy and we are
expecting it to reach almost 100 per cent by tomorrow
evening," Shah said.
The Chief Executive Officer said although the snowfall
might elude the hill resort on the eve and during the new year
celebrations but the same is expected in the first week of
"As per the weather forecast, Gulmarg will be receiving
snowfall on January 4 and 5," he said and hoped for a
"There is a presence of foreign tourists in the hill
resort but their number is expected to increase manifold with
the fresh spell of snowfall. They usually plan their visit
with the snowfall to enjoy skiing and other activities," he
Despite bone-chilling cold, a large number of tourists
are arriving in the valley for ushering in the New Year but
many of them have expressed disappointment due to lack of
snowfall so far.
"We had planned our holidays during summer, hoping to see
the valley covered by snow but it seems that it might not
happen as we are going back on January 4," Lokesh Kumar, a
tourist from Delhi, said.
The fresh arrival of tourists has brought smiles to the
faces of people associated with tourism.
"Generally, winter was considered as lean season for
tourist arrivals but this year the business is good. In fact,
it is almost at par with arrivals we had in autumn," Burhan
Ahmad, a tour operator, said.
Ahmad said the tourism boom in winter will help people
of Kashmir in general and the tourism industry in particular
to recover some of the losses suffered during the three years
of turmoil between 2008 and 2010.