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Kashmir valley braces up for winter tourism


WINTER TOURISM

 

Winter in Kashmir valley shows a positive sign for all the tourism players to keep open doors of all the hotels and restaurants all across the valley be it in Gulmarg, Pahalgam or Sonamarg as all the three tourist destinations are receiving huge snowfalls in harsh winter period in Kashmir valley, thus making a merry for tourist to enjoy snowfall round the winter season.

 

As already around 1.62 crore tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir since January 2022 till now as the tourist footfall in the Union territory this year is the highest ever in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. Tourism department and all hotels, restaurants and cafes all across the Kashmir valley are bracing up for the winter tourism and are expecting huge tourists in winter period to be fully occupied during the winter season.

 

One can never run out of places to explore in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The land is brimming with picturesque vistas, amazing flora, stunning architecture and there are quaint home stays and eco-friendly resorts that visitors can choose from. Those with an adventurous bent of mind will find a plethora of activities waiting for them. And finally, if you are spiritually inclined, the numerous religious shrines will show you the way to peace and serenity.

 

Kashmir is an epitome of natural beauty, and it is renowned the world over for that. You can soak your senses at many places like lakes, gardens and hill stations that attract thousands of tourists every year. Take perfect pictures and take home memories of a perfect holiday.

 

Faheem Qureshi, a young entrepreneur of Srinagar city soon after completing degree in Tourism had setup his own business venture “Stay Pattern Hospitality Services” in 2019, first of its kind in Kashmir valley for the promotion of tourism business for top leading hotels in Gulmarg, Pahlagam, Sonamarg and other tourist destinations and in Srinagar city for all the four seasons.

 

Faheem Qureshi has an experience of more than a decade in the hospitality industry. He was responsible for key position roles at different hotels across India. He pursued his Bachelor’s degree in hotel management from Bangalore and started his career in well-known hotel brands like IHG, Accor Hotels, Radisson Hotels, The Khyber – Luxury Hotels and concluded his job role at The Orchard Retreat & Spa as General Manager.

 

With a track record of outstanding managerial skills in all aspects of hotel operations, sales and marketing, creating the brand image, pre-openings, increasing revenue and in meeting the guest expectations in all aspects, according to Faheem Qureshi, Stay Pattern Hospitality Services is a pioneer in providing hotel and resort owners with top-notch operational, sales, and marketing solutions. With each passing year, Stay Pattern Hospitality Services has tried to bring in innovative and new services which can bring happiness to its customers.

 

Faheem seems to be very optimistic and confident for offering exclusive online services or corporate information and an online platform for branding among exclusive business visitors and the whole team consists of experienced professionals with a desire and zeal to succeed and deliver the best as Stay Pattern Hospitality Services currently handles the marketing and promotional business of leading hotels of Kashmir valley including The Orchard Retreat &
Spa, Srinagar, Shaw Inn, Gulmarg, Arco Hotels & Resorts, Sonamarg, Lake Avenue at Dal Lake and are planning to expand with seven more by the end of this year.

 

Faheem says Stay Pattern Hospitality Services collaborates with clients to help them conceptualize, develop & operate high performance business to improve cash flow, value & achieve client goals. Stay Pattern Hospitality Services provide services that are unique for each project, including hotels, resorts & restaurants, to undertake and tailored to meet each client’s individual needs.

 

Nayeem Nazir, owner of Wayn Tour and travels of Srinagar city is very keen to get maximum numbers of tourists during the winter season of this year as he is very much hopeful as top national tour operators had already visited Delhi, Maharashtra, Pune, Surat, Gujarat, Jaipur, Bangalore had already visit Kashmir valley during many times in 2022 and got maximum number of national and international tourists in Kashmir and Ladakh regions.

 

Javaid Kralyari another tour and travel operator says that during Diwali festival, tourist flow was good as compared to other years in Autumn season in Kashmir and as Winter is approaching in Kashmir valley, excellent number of foreign and domestic tourists are expected in the Kashmir valley especially in Gulmarg where winter games are scheduled to happen for which booking has already started in the hotels. If the snowfall will happen in full swing at Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg areas, it will attract more tourists and hotel booking will be full.

 

Jammu & Kashmir is known for its religious shrines as well. The UT abounds with important pilgrimage sites for people of all religions, whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikhs or Buddhist. There are people who travel from far to pay homage, and others who visit to feast their eyes upon the beauty of some of these ancient structures.

 

The beautiful sanctuaries of Jammu and Kashmir reward the nature seeker with views of diverse topography as well as the rarest species of wildlife. The UT has several national parks and sanctuaries, aimed at protecting some of the endangered species. Lucky visitors can catch a glimpse of the hangul (Kashmiri stag), leopard, wild cats, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan marmot, musk deer, and a species of wild goat. Himalayan birds, like pheasants, the golden eagle and the bearded vultures can also be spotted.

 

Gulmarg, the meadow of flowers, is one of Asia’s premier hill resorts for its legendary beauty, prime location and the range of choices it offers to the visitors. Famous for its exquisite valleys, gorgeous streams, fascinating slopes for every sort of skiing and hiking, Gulmarg is also home to one of the highest golf courses in the world. Gulmarg is equally most sought after place in summers as well as in winters for, it offers myriad choices during summers like greenery and flower beds all around, with beautiful lakes, sublime valleys and Gulmarg Gandola. During winters, the place is thronged by the tourists for its snowy slopes where skiing is done.

 

Pahalgam “The Valley of Shepherds” is a town in Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir and a popular tourist destination and a hill station. It is located on the banks of Lidder River and is associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari, located 16 kilometres from Pahalgam is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year in the months of July-August.

 

Sonamarg or Sonmarg, literally means ‘Meadow of Gold’. The picturesque natural beauty of the region brought this name to Sonamarg. Sonamarg, a town surrounded by breathtaking glaciers and serene lakes, is a snow covered beautiful flower-laden meadow in the majestic Himalayan mountain region. Sonamarg in the Kashmir valley is the gateway to Ladakh and situated just before the Zojii La pass. Located at 87 km from Srinagar, the place is renowned for trekking and hiking trails.

 

The snow clad peaks in the Himalaya and the undulated hilly mountainous regions are perfectly suitable for all types of trekking expeditions. Sonamarg is the base camp for many trekking expeditions. The major treks passing through various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar has its base at Sonamarg. The trekking routes offer all types of challenges, from mild to most hard. The pleasant climate with mild summer and cold winter make this place an ideal location for trekkers to explore the natural beauty and challenging treks.

 

All the three top tourist destinations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg is the perfect choice for every tourists of domestic or international repute to visit and cherish the cold of winter and enjoy snow fall by own eyes and feel the real fragrance of “Paradise on Earth” here only in this world.

 

 

(The author is a regular columnist and can be mailed at m.hanief@gmail.com)



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