By: Umaisar Gull Ganie
Kulgam, Sep 14: Much to the delight of the tourism players, the footfall of the tourists at the picturesque Aharbal have recorded huge increase in the past eight months with officials claiming that over 1,50,000 visitors—both locals and non-locals have visited the place so far.
Aharbal, known for its burbling waterfall, is emerging as a major tourist attraction, officials told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), adding that compared to the previous 1.08 lakh tourist footfall in 2021, the number of tourists who thronged the place so far has crossed the figure of 1.50 lakhs in just eight months of 2022.
“Of total 150,011 visitors, 1,150,00 are locals, 35,000 are domestic & national while foreign guests are 11,” a figure shared by the officials said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Aharbal Development Authority (ADA), Ghalib Shah told KNO that the assets have been renovated while trekking festivals have been organized at the picturesque place to attract the tourists to the spot.
He added that the activities for adventure tourism are also being carried out while festivals and augmenting the infrastructure attracted the tourists further, he said, adding that several things have been outsourced to ensure facilities to the tourists at the place.
In 2021, 1,08,000 tourists visited the place throughout the year while this year the number has gone up and crossed the figure of 1.50 lakhs, he said and hoped that more tourists are expected to visit the place soon as the winter activities will also be organized to attract the tourists.
About the overcharging to the tourists, he said that the monitoring committee has already been formed and are conducting regular checks to ensure there is no overcharging anywhere.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kulgam, Dr. Bilal Mohi-ud-din told KNO that adequate accommodation is available at the place, adding that 20 rooms have been outsourced by ADA while eight rooms of tourism department, four huts of JKTDC with eight rooms are available at Aharbal.
He further said that five festivals including panchanpatri attracted a huge number of tourists to the place, adding that multiple number of trekking events, aggressive campaign, social media pages were used rigorously to attract the tourists to the place—(KNO)