Snowy Gulmarg All Set For Winter Celebrations
11 December 2007
New Delhi: GULMARG, world's famous ski destination, is receiving fresh snowfall and is all set to be groomed for huge sports activities on its white peaks and plains. Kashmir tourism authorities believe that large number of tourists from country and abroad both would turn up here in Gulmarg this season. The authorities have also decided to keep special facilities in place to lure maximum number of tourists from across the globe. 'Gulmarg has geared up for its winter activities. We are organizing national winter games and are hosting international skiing race, a major event approved by Federation of International Skiing, in Gulmarg this winter,' said director tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah. He also added that Gulmarg is emerging as one of the best skiing destination in the world, being cheapest than Switzerland and other places in world. 'To begin with, we are organizing Kashmir Snow Festival from December 24,' Shah informed. The festival, as per director tourism, would be fallowed by national winter games, scheduled to be started from February 17 and International skiing race event also. 'Besides, 14 advanced and intermediate training courses are being organized in Gulmarg, in which several students from foreign countries are also joining,' he said. 'Other events, like ice-skating, rafting, snow hockey are also being played in Gulmarg during this winter. We have tied up with many travel agencies across the globe to lure more tourists and skiers to the valley,' said Kashmir's joint director tourism Sarmad Hafeez. He added that this winter international skiing teams are being put on place in ski slopes of Gulmarg, in order to make the skiing safe and professional. 'The team would contain experts from Australia, New Zealand and USA, whose expertise would be used in rescue operations and avalanche control,' he maintained. Joint director tourism said that the authorities have improved the accommodation facilities a lot in hotels at Gulmarg and the Indian institute of skiing is also commissioning new buildings in Gulmarg.