Gulmarg abuzz with tourists for New Year bash

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/1/2018 12:28:21 PM

Srinagar, Dec 01: The world-famous resort of Gulmarg is abuzz with tourists and locals to celebrate the New Year amid programmes organized to mark the beginning of 2018.
A snow festival between organised by the tourism department in collaboration with hoteliers in Gulmarg had helped to attract skiers, snow-boarders and other tourists in large numbers. The scenic beauty of Gulmarg has also caught attention of tourists from Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia.

Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez told Greater Kashmir that a week-long snow carnival from January 8, 2018 is also expected to woo tourists . “The early snow in December helped us to set the mood for Christmas and New Year celebrations. With prediction of snowfall in January we expect the snow carnival to be a grand success,” Hafeez said.
Hafeez said snow-boarding, snow cycling, ice skating, snow scooter and snow rugby are some of the activities popular among tourists visiting Gulmarg.
“Two ice parks will be set-up and two snow sculptures carved to provide an artistic look to Gulmarg. One sculpture will be made by locals and another one by experts from Institute of Fine arts,” Hafeez said.

Hafeez said the activities are being done in collaboration with Gulmarg Hoteliers Association. “Gulmarg which is anyways like a fairyland looks all the more beautiful after being lit-up on occasions such as Christmas and New Year. Various ethnic folk programmes and food festivals will also be held to provide an enriching experience to tourists this winter,” Hafeez said.
Interestingly, many hotels in Pahalgam are also sold-out for next 3-4 days. “ We want to break the myth that Pahalgam is only a summer destination by organizing various New Year evening programmes in collaboration with the local Pahalgam hoteliers,” Hafeez said.
After a successful beginning to the winter season, tourism stakeholders are keenly awaiting for the spring and summer seasons. Director Tourism, Mehmood Shah said “in-collaboration with tour operators we will be organizing several road shows in big and small cities across the country to create good publicity regarding Kashmir,” Shah said.
Meanwhile, luxury hotels in the summer capital also witnessed colorful events being organised to celebrate new year’s eve on December 31.
Hotels such as Radisson, Four Points By Sheraton, The Lalit-Grand Palace, Vivanta By Taj had organised several bash events on the occasion of new year’s eve. “Celebrate Inclusivity, Diversity” was the theme for new year celebrations at “The Lalit-Grand Palace,Srinagar” on Sunday evening. “Sumptuous food and live entertainment for in-house guests as well as locals who visited the hotel helped us to make new year’s eve a memorable one,” said a senior hotel executive.While Radisson had organised celebrations with a Disc Jocket ( DJ), “New Year’s Eve Decadence Gala Dinner” was hosted by Four Points By Sheraton which included a live musical band playing at the hotel.

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