At least 5000 tourists have thronged north Kashmir’s Gurez since April this year and more tourists are expected in coming months.
He said since April 2022 the destination has witnessed 5000 visitors both local and non-locals of Jammu and Kashmir.
A senior official in the district administration while providing details said in 2020, only 352 visitors thronged Gurez while as in 2021 almost 15000 visitors turned to Gurez with the strenuous efforts of civil and army administration.
He said since April 2022 around 5000 visitors have visited the Gurez valley.
Notably the tourism along LoC started gaining momentum in 2020 when neighbouring countries India and Pakistan agreed to annex with a ceasefire agreement. Since then trekkers, tourists both local and non-local, started flocking to Gurez and other areas of Line of Control that prompted administration to work on promoting border tourism in the valley.
Irfan Ahmad, a local, said that tourism activities have given hope to border residents. “We have opened our homes to tourists as it gives us employment opportunities, ” he said.
Arshid Ahmad, a social activist from Gurez said the swelling numbers of tourists in the valley has brought a ray of hope in the lives of the unemployed youth as many of them have now taken up various avenues of self-employment through tourism related activities.
Speaking to Rising Kashmir, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Dr Owais Ahmad said the district administration has taken the promotion of tourism on priority and in this regard many promotional events have been organized in the past.
“The district administration is trying its best to make Gurez a must visit destination so that it not only brings the destination to lime light but also generates livelihood to unemployed youth”, he said.