Snowfall in Kashmir parts sparks hope for tourism

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SRINAGAR — Fresh snowfall in parts of Kashmir, especially higher reaches, on Friday has ignited hope of a revival of tourism and farming sectors in Kashmir.

As per the news agency KNO, the dry spell of more than two months in Kashmir ended with fresh snowfall in higher reaches of Kashmir on Friday.

Snowfall was reported from Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Gurez, Machil, Karnah, Doodpathri and Shopian areas of the valley.

Tourism players, who were witnessing cancellation of bookings due to the prolonged dry period, said they are getting fresh inquiries from tourists for February.

“Snowfall always proves a good omen for the tourism sector of Kashmir. We are now getting queries from tourists who want to visit Kashmir in the coming weeks to witness snowfall,” Rauf Tramboo, President Travel Agents Association of Kashmir, said.

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He hoped for compensation for the January loss in February. “There is a prediction for more snowfall in the coming days, which will pave the way for the start of adventure sports at Gulmarg. So, we are hopeful that more tourists come to enjoy the adventure in Kashmir,” Tramboo said.

The President TAAK said they are getting a good number of confirmations for the months of March, April and May also. “Kashmir is likely to witness a packed Spring season also. We are currently getting good booking confirmation for the months of March, April and May,” he said.

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Apple growers are equally elated, saying the fresh spell will infuse a new lease of life in the horticulture sector.

“Apple production is always determined by the rains and snowfall received by the valley during the winter season. Kashmir witnessed dry weather for over two months, which has an impact on the horticulture sector. Since the MeT department has forecasted snowfall in the coming days, we are hopeful for better production this year,” said Gowhar Ahmad Khan, an apple grower from Baramulla.

Pertinently, December last year witnessed a 79 per cent deficit in rainfall. The month of January has been dry majorly, which raised concerns among the farmers, tourism players and environmentalists.

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