“We celebrated New Year at Pahalgam so that the resort would become popular as a winter destination. Pahalgam also receives good snowfall, besides it has a potential for winter adventure sports activities,” Mahmood A Shah, Kashmir Tourism Director
The Tourism Department this year preferred Pahalgam resort over the bustling Gulmarg ski resort to usher in New Year.
“This year, we celebrated New Year at Pahalgam to promote the destination for winter tourism. Pahalgam, which primarily is a summer destination, receives lesser tourist footfall in winter as compared to Gulmarg which remains packed,” said a Tourism Department official.
The department kick-started the New Year celebrations by organising the first-ever snow half marathon at Pahalgam, ice climbing events and an all-terrain vehicle ride show.
Kashmir Tourism Director Mahmood A Shah flagged off the snow marathon at Pahalgam Club. It passed through Aru and culminated at the starting point after covering 21 km.
The snow marathon, which brought Pahalgam alive, was the first-of-its-kind half marathon organised in sub-zero temperatures to promote the destination and also keep local youth engaged.
The Tourism Department also organised ice climbing at Pahalgam today. Scores of trained mountain climbers participated in the exercise.
The department organised cultural and musical events at Pahalgam Club this evening, providing entertained to locals and tourists.
The Tourism Director said Gulmarg received a good number of tourists during winter while other destinations received lesser footfall and needed to be promoted in winter.
“We celebrated New Year at Pahalgam so that the resort would become popular as a winter destination. Pahalgam also receives good snowfall, besides it has a potential for winter adventure sports activities,” Shah said.
Elsewhere, the New Year celebrations remained selective.
While locals, by and large, give the New Year celebrations a miss, several high-end hotels had organised in-house parties and arranged musical programmes.
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