New Year in Kashmir starts on a high note as tourism thrives

Tourists thronging Kashmir to celebrate Christmas and New Year created a buzz in the Valley as all the tourist resorts, including Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg, were sold out even before the celebrations could begin. The festivities ended on a high note as tourists started their New Year amid snow-clad mountains and peaks in the Valley.

Nearly 26 lakh tourists visited Kashmir from January 1, 2022, to December 21, 2022. The highest grossing months were April (2.72 lakh), May (3.75 lakh) and June (3.33 lakh) while in lean months, there were 62,000 arrivals in January, one lakh arrivals in February and 1.05 lakh in December (up to December 21). As Christmas and New Year came closer the number of tourists arriving in Kashmir swelled and the celebrations which commenced on Christmas eve ended with New Year festivities on December 31.

As Kashmir teemed with tourists in the winter season, hotel owners announced special packages for gala dinners and other entertainment programmes.

Due to COVID-19, not many foreign tourists visited Kashmir in 2020 and 2021 but in 2022 the restrictions were lifted which led to the arrival of foreigners in the Valley after a long time.

Pakistan-sponsored turmoil for three decades hit the tourism industry very hard. Even during the peak season hotels in Kashmir used to have zero occupancies. Tourists visiting Kashmir in the winter season used to be a rare feat.

After the abrogation of Article 370, a temporary provision in the Constitution, Jammu and Kashmir has changed for the good. Its transition into a Union Territory has proven to be a blessing for the common people.

Terrorists are finding it hard to survive as they have lost local support and the terror ecosystem that used to help them to disrupt normal lives has been shattered.


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