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Gulmarg jampacked with 10,000 visitors on Christmas

4,912 visit Sunday, 4,828 on Monday; mostly foreign tourists coming; place poised for bustling New Year: Asst Dir Tourism

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Gulmarg, Dec 25 (KNO): In a festive spectacle, Gulmarg, the renowned ski-resort embraced its winter charm, attracting around 10,000 tourists on Christmas Eve. The pristine snow-covered landscape echoed with joyous celebrations as locals, domestic and foreign tourists immersed in the festive spirit. The snowfall not only added to the scenic beauty but also contributed to Gulmarg's economic vibrancy. Assistant Director Tourism, Gulmarg, Javeed Ahmed, speaking with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said Gulmarg recorded over 10,000 tourists on Christmas Eve, with a significant influx of foreign visitors. Javeed expressed optimism about a surge in foreign arrivals as winter activities unfold. On Sunday, Gulmarg marked 4,912 visitors, followed by 4,828 on Monday, which indicates a robust start to the season, Ahmed said, adding, “With a total of 16,000 tourist arrivals so far, we anticipate a substantial increase in footfall, gearing up for a successful season.” The average daily influx of 5,000 tourists is expected to rise, and Gulmarg is poised for a bustling New Year, the Assistant Director Tourism said. Despite the high demand, the hospitality sector, including hotels and guesthouses, is efficiently accommodating the surge, showcasing Gulmarg's capacity to host a large number of tourists, the officials said. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Christmas celebration at Gulmarg, Director Tourism, Raja Yaqoob highlighted the department’s preparation for the New Year and the joy of witnessing mostly foreign tourists exploring the valley. While Pahalgam is nearing full capacity, Sonamarg, opening for winter tourism for the first time, is also witnessing a rise in tourist arrivals, Raja Yaqoob said, adding this positive news during a Christmas celebration at Gulmarg. “Mostly foreign tourists are coming to the valley this time, which is a happy moment for all of us,” Director Tourism said. As part of the festive celebrations, Saint Mary's Church hosted a joyous event led by Father Eric and Father Venoo. Community members gathered to offer prayers in accordance with their religious traditions, and a ceremonial cake-cutting added to the festive spirit, attended by officials and stakeholders alike—(KNO)

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