13.50 Lakh Tourists Visited Kashmir in 2012: Parvez
Gulmarg: The Winter Sports kick-started formally at centre of Winter Games of India, the Gulmarg yesterday on Monday during the new year celebrations at the healkth resort. As many as 10 sports activities were held during the day.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Talat Parvez flagged off the sports activities---Sledge Race, Snow Cycling, Snow Marathon, Snow Rugby, Free Style Skiing and Zorbing demonstration. Notably, the most attractive event of the snow festival, Ice skating was held in the evening. As many as 30 students representing various districts of the Valley participated in it. This event was followed by Night Skiing and Cracker show late in the night. These events were witnessed by large number of local and non local tourists and various stakeholders camping in snow capped hill resort, braving chilly breeze of sub zero temperature of Challan Kalan (January) nights.
Speaking on the occasion, Parvez said that revival of tourism in the J&K has been expedited as the number of tourists visited Valley increased manifold. He said the number of tourists has gone to 13.50 lakh in the year 2012 while it was only 6 lakh in 1989.
He said various new games have been introduced in this years game plan, which include Marathon Race and Sledge Race to boost the tourism industry in the Valley. ?"We make efforts to involve more youth in different activists of tourism and winter games for which services of national and international repute coaches are being hired to make them professionally sound?, said Parvez. He added Gulmarg will get fully equipped Internet Centre which will cater the need of tourists besides media persons this year.
Parvez added that owing to the efforts put in place by the Government, tourists from United States and various European Countries are visiting here, following relaxation in the negative travel warnings to visit Kashmir. " Tourists from all over the world visit Kashmir, which is a good omen in boosting the tourist industry," Parvez added further.
Later, prizes were distributed among the best three position holders in each game by Parvez at a function organised late in the evening. A musical concert was also played by the renowned musicians of the Valley. Besdies, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, S. M. Sahai and Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority were also present on the occasion.