GULMARG: Winter Sports kick started formally at ski resort of Gulmarg yesterday. As many as 10 sports activities were held during the day from morning till late in the evening.
Director Tourism, Talat Parvez flagged off the various activities which including Sledge Race, Snow Cycling, Snow Marathon, Snow Rugby, Free Style Skiing and Zorbing demonstration.
The most attractive event of the snow festival was held in the evening. As many as 30 students representing various districts of the Valley participated in the Ice Skating. This event was followed by Night Skiing and Cracker show late in the night. These events were witnessed by large number of local and non local tourists and various stakeholders camping in snow capped hill resort, braving chilly breeze of sub zero temperature of Challan Kalan (January) nights.
Later prize distribution function was held, in which Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, Mr. S. M. Sahai also attended besides Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority.
Speaking on the occasion, the Director Tourism said that revival of tourism in the J&K has been expedited as the number of tourists visited Valley increased manifold. He said the number of tourists has gone to 13.50 lakh in the year 2012 while it was only 6 lakh in 1989.He said various new games have been introduced in this years game plan, which include Marathon Race and Sledge Race to boost the tourism industry in the Valley. We make efforts to involve more and more youth in the different activists of tourism and winter games for which services of national and international repute coaches are being hired to make our youth professionally sound, said the Director Tourism. He said by this year Gulmarg will get fully equipped Internet Centre which will cater the need of tourists besides media persons.
Talat said that because of the efforts put in place by the Government, tourists from United States and various European Countries are visiting here, following relaxation in the Advisory to visit Kashmir. He said by now tourists from all over the world visit Kashmir, which is a good omen in boosting the tourist industry.Later, prizes were distributed among the best three position holders in each game by the Director Tourism at a function organised late in the evening. A musical concert was also played by the renowned musicians of the Valley.
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