Anantnag (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 4 (ANI): Visitor influx is gradually increasing at several tourist spots in the Pahalgam area in Anantnag which had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current trend indicates that more tourists will visit Pahalgam to enjoy its mesmerizing beauty. Pahalgam which is known as the "valley of shepherds" is almost a hundred kilometres away from Srinagar city and considered one of the most beautiful tourist destinations of south Kashmir that used to attract a good number of tourists from different parts of the world every year.
The department of tourism had restarted its activities to revive the tourism industry of Kashmir. The government had organised a two days Pahalgam festival with a number of cultural activities aimed to attract tourists.
It seems that the promotional activities have given results as a good number of tourists from different states of the country are visiting Pahalgam. They are enjoying horse riding and delicacies of Kashmiri cuisine in addition to the exhilarating beauty the valley has to offer.
Dr G N Itoo Director Tourism Kashmir said, "Pahalgam has got a great potential in tourism because of adventure tourism, rafting. Over 12,500 poor people in this area are dependent on tourism."
"I am very happy that Kashmir has become a favourite destination for tourists worldwide. Government has to be given credit for this as they efficiently managed COVID-19 crisis, and when we opened up the destinations, the government improved the infrastructure, they did mobilisation."
"The tourism has picked up, In the last 3 months over 25,000 domestic tourists and one lakh local tourists have enjoyed all the district destinations, mainly Pahalgam and Gulmarg."
Ketan, a tourist said, "This is the first time I came to Srinagar. I stayed in Srinagar for two days and today I'm in Pahalgam. It is a great experience. The experience of horse riding felt very good. I am happy and I'm enjoying the trip."
"I urge all travel lovers to come here. The place is very nice and the people here are nicer than that. They give a lot of respect, be it at a hotel or just passers-by, They treat you with so much love and respect," he added.
Preeti Verma, another tourist said, " I had heard a lot about this place, people are very nice here. Just like the beauty of Kashmir, people here are also beautiful. I had long been wanting to see snowfall. I am very happy... I had high expectations, Pahalgam gave me over and above my expectations"
Chris Zandy, a Foreign Entrepreneur said, "The tourist department does a lot for the livelihood of the local people. It is good to see the first tourists come in, enjoy and give some benefits to local,"
"Indian tourists cannot travel abroad due to the COVID-19 restrictions, they will visit Pahalgam, they may choose Pahalgam to escape the April heat. We are counting on them," he said. (ANI)