With an objective to boost tourist influx in the Valley during the Autumn season, the Department of Tourism, Kashmir today started weekend festivals, ‘Valley Weekends’ in which tourists will be offered breathtaking experiences and host of entertainment activities on every Saturday and Sunday.
The department organised a Theatre show at Mughal Garden, Shalimar in the day followed by musical evening at SKICC where local emerging bands performed and enthralled the audience with their talent.
A large number of locals, tourists, members from travel, trade and hospitality sector and officers from Department of Tourism, J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages were present in both the programmes.
For engaging locals and tourists, the Department will include sports activities like mountain biking, canoeing and rowing on Sunday while continuing the Theatre show at Shalimar Garden.
Director, Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah informed that ‘Valley Weekends’ will help keep youth engaged with the activities and make Kashmir a lively place for tourists.
“Tourists mostly come here for sightseeing and they don’t mince words to praise the beauty here,” the Director said, adding that most of the tourists visit Mughal Gardens and Dal Lake where the Department has organised musical, theatre events, sports and adventure activities for their entertainment.
He further said the aim of these events is to send a positive message across the globe that Kashmir is a safe and a tourist-friendly place. “The campaign will run throughout the winter season during which the department will hold host of cultural, musical and theatre, poetry and painting events. The adventure lovers can also enjoy fishing, snow marathons, skiing, cycling, and snow-shoe running,” he added.
He informed that the department recently organised heritage walk in downtown which will also continue in future besides there will be food festival promote local cuisine. The festivals have been organised in autumn which is usually a lean tourist season in Kashmir.
“There is a general impression that autumn is a lean tourist season in Kashmir and no activity happens here. However, autumn is the most beautiful season when we have riot of colours which gives Kashmir an enchantingly beautiful look. These activities will not turn Kashmir a dead place in this lean season rather attract tourists to beautiful season of the year,” said Director Tourism Kashmir.
The department is also gearing up to hold winter carnival at Ski Resort, Gulmarg and Pahalgam.