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Ganai kick-starts series of winter sports activities at Gulmarg

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We are developing Gulmarg into a world class skiing destination where intentional competitions will be held for the adventure travelers: Director Tourism, Kashmir

SRINAGAR, DECEMBER 31: Asserting that Gulmarg, a world-famed tourist destination—is offering wide-range of facilities, Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai on Monday urged tourists to visit the State—having diverse tourism products and unmatched beauty.

While kick starting series of winter sports activities at Gulmarg— including national snow-skating championship, Ganai, said that this winter, Gulmarg is humming with life under a thick blanket of snow as hundreds of tourists have made it their destination for skiing, snow skating, snow-biking, sledge riding, snowboarding, heli-skiing, among other activities.

Ganai, who was flanked by Secretary Tourism, J&K Govt, RigzianSampheal, Director Tourism, Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani, CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority, Muhammad HaniefBalki among other officers, said besides Gulmarg the tourists also have option to visit other beautiful places too. He said that the number of domestic tourists has also gone up and authorities were looking forward to a path-breaking tourist inflow this winter. He said that over eight lakh domestic and 50,000 foreign tourists have visited Kashmir this year so far and the hotel occupancy at Gulmarg is almost 100 per cent for the New Year eve.

He said that tourism and hospitality sector is upbeat as we are targeting to cross over 13 lakh tourist inflow in Kashmir.

“I would like to send across a strong message to the people across the world that they shouldn’t mind the harsh weather, they shouldn’t mind the cold as Kashmir is calling and waiting for their arrival,” Ganai said.   “The tourist arrivals have picked up and more tourists are comings, which is heart-warming for all the tourist stakeholders and service providers.”

He said bookings have also picked up which can be gauged from the fact that the Gulmarg is fully packed for New Year.

On Gulmarg Gondola, Ganai said that the world’s highest cable car is proving to be a boon for tourism. He said that the slopes of Gulmarg offer steep and soft snow, adding that the powder snow and other features of this resort were breathtaking for the adventure tourism and they shouldn’t miss any chance to visit Kashmir region.

Ganai urged hoteliers and tourism stakeholders to slash down hotel tariffs—which often go high during peak seasons in Kashmir.

Ganai said that the government would provide all possible assistance to the tourism stakeholders in their efforts to project Kashmir as the world’s top tourism destination. He urged the service providers and stakeholders to work towards placing famed Kashmir among the world top tourism destinations by the year 2020. Ganai suggested for introducing effective tourist friendly measures to make the stay of the tourists longer in Kashmir. He also stressed on the need to introduce various attractions such as evening cultural shows among other festivals for extending the nightlife.

Ganai on his visit to government-run ski-shop at Gulmarg, reviewed the facilities and directed the officials to provide all possible assistance to the tourists and ski-lovers.

Later, Ganai inaugurated the cultural programme and ‘New Year celebrations, at Gulmarg Golf Club. He said that Gulmarg is not only USP of the State tourism but of the entire country.

In his welcome address, Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani said that that the department is making all the facilities in place for the hassle-free travel of the tourists.

“We are developing Gulmarg into a world class skiing destination where intentional competitions will be held for the adventure travelers,” Wani said.

On the occasion, artists including ShafiSopori, Imran Latief enthralled the audience with their performances.

The Advisor was accompanied by Senior Superintendent of Police, Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Farooq Ahmad Baba, Deputy Director, Tourism (Publicity) Riyaz Ahmad Shah, Deputy Director, Tourism (Recreation) Sarfaraz Muhammad.

15th National Ice Speed Skating Championship underway at Gulmarg

Gulmarg, 31 Dec: On the 2nd and 3rd session of ongoing 15th National Ice Speed Skating Championship the competitions in 3 different events were conducted smoothly on Monday.

On second session, held on 30th December, Hanief Balki, Chief Executive Officer-GDA was Guest of Honor. Some representatives of Tourism Dept, ISAI, WGAJK and ATOAK were also present on the occasion.

Advisor to of J&K, Khursheed Ahmad Ganai today afternoon visited the Skating Rink where the championship is being held. He was accompanied by Secretary Tourism, Director Tourism Kashmir, CEO-GDA and many other dignitaries.

After witnessing few competitive events Ganai expressed his joy and pleasure for holding such mega sporting events in Kashmir which would go a long way in promoting winter and adventure tourism in the state. He interacted with the participants coming from different states of the Country including Karnatakar, Andra Pradesh, Maharashtr, Madhya Pradesh and also J&K. and encouraged them with his blessings.

Ganai stressed the need that more emphasis is given to adventure sports as these are job oriented. He further said that Kashmir could become hub of adventure tourism if more importance is given to adventure oriented sports like skiing, skating, rafting and paragliding etc. We need to recognize sports tourism as one of the important sectors of our general tourism, he said.

Many tourism stakeholders and sports administers were also present on the occasion.

Category Distance Name of winner State Medal won
Above 19 yrs Men 500 Mtrs GV Ragvendra Karnataka Gold Medal
- - SumitTapkir Maharashtra Silver
- - OmkarYograj Karnataka Bronze
15-17 yrs Boys 1000 Mtrs DepanchoVisheshta U.P Gold
- - AdeebWani J&K Silver
- - VedintJangra Haryana Bronze
15-17 yrsYrs Girls 1000 mtrs AsilD’Silva Karnataka Gold
  - Swarali Maharashtra Silver
- - Vishesta Madhya Pradesdh Bronze
17-19 Yrs Boys 1000 mtrs AshwinD’Silva Karnataka Gold
- - PrajawalSharat Karnataka Silver
- - BhargavLokesh Karnataka Bronze

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