‘Valley Weekend’ announced for better tourism in Kashmir

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Srinagar:  Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department has announced weekend leisure for the tourists this winter to increase their footfall to Kashmir.
The department has started campaign titled ‘valley weekend’ under which it will expose the visitors to various sports and entertainment-related activities throughout the winter.
The department in sports category has included marathons, fishing, cycling, skiing and snow shoe running.
In entertainment category, the department would hold folk music, rock music, theatre, poetry related programmes.
As per the officials the department has included the heritage and food carts element in winter programmes to retain and lure the tourists for Kashmir.
Director Tourism, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, told The Kashmir Monitor that the campaign is likely to commence next week, which he said would long till the end of the winter season.
“We just want to add colour to the winter tourism this year. Already we hold sports event like skiing but this time some addition has been done to it,” he said.
Shah said that the department was receiving “good” response from the tourists across the world over winter activities in the valley.
“We don’t want to give an impression that city is dead during winter. That’s why cultural programs will be held here. The winter is ideal time for such activities and it will bring more people to Kashmir,” he said.
An official from the tourism department said that that these programmes are likely to gain momentum during Christmas and New Year.
“People usually prefer to celebrate New Year and Christmas in Kashmir as the valley remains covered with snow during that time. So accordingly plans are being made by the department to promote Kashmir even bigger during winters,” he said.
 The official also said that the department would add other destinations on the winter tourism map this year.
“Pahalgam has become more of a summer destination only. So, some programmes has been focused for Pahalgam as well like we did skiing last year there,” he said.
The new initiatives have generated a hope about revival of tourism among tourism players.
“It is a good initiative and winter tourism always attracts high end spenders. There should be such activities throughout the winter to attract more tourists to Kashmir,”  prominent tour operator Peerzada Fayaz Ahmad said.
 The tourism department recently started it video series about promoting Kashmir on social media.
One of its video “Kashmir Warmth place on earth” has received 3.5 million views, which the department claimed has proved lucrative in enhancing the arrival of tourists to Kashmir.

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