Fireworks show in Gulmarg on new year
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Last Updated: Friday, December 30, 2011, 22:11
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 Year celebrations.

"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 January.

"As per the weather forecast, Gulmarg will be receiving snowfall on January 4 and 5," he said and hoped for a promising month.

"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 said.

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.


First Published: Friday, December 30, 2011, 22:11

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