Following some improvement in the law and order situation in the Kashmir valley in 2011, the year ended on a positive note for the tourism industry with visitors from all over the country thronging famous skiing resort Gulmarg to celebrate the New Year.
A large number of tourists celebrated the New Year by dancing to popular Bollywood numbers amidst a firecracker show that lit the skies in Gulmarg last night.
Most hotels located at an altitude of 8,000 ft had received advance bookings ahead of the New Year and some people were even forced to return to the city on account of a heavy rush.
“We are witnessing an unprecedented rush of tourists at Gulmarg. All hotels, huts and cottages are full with visitors. There were no rooms available on the New Year’s eve, particularly for those who did not have advance bookings. After celebrating the New Year, many had to return to Srinagar today,” said Mehmood Ahmed, CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority.
The tourists, who were in a festive mood, were enthralled by the atmosphere at the hill resort. “We have never had so much fun on New Year before. I had earlier celebrated the New Year in England and at other places, but I will not forget the last night celebrations at this picturesque and snow-clad place,” said Anita Sood, a tourist from New Delhi.