Bhadarwah authorities to woo tourists this winter

Bhadarwah authorities to woo tourists this winter
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Bhadarwah (JK): With an aim to revive the tourism sector hit after the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, authorities in Bhadarwah have launched a massive campaign to clean the picturesque valley and welcome tourists.

The valley, known as 'mini-Kashmir', is a major attraction for holiday makers but it has recorded a sharp decline this year in view of restrictions imposed in the state after the revocation of the provisions of Article 370.

To woo tourists, the Bhadarwah Development Authority has declared coming winters as the "visit Bhadarwah season".

"We have started a massive cleanliness drive, repair and patch work of the roads leading to all major destinations in the Valley. The drive is going on war-footing and in the next 10 days, all tourist destinations will be presented to visitors with a fresh look," the authority's Assistant Executive Engineering Fayaz Mehta told PTI.

He said the BDA has cleaned all high-altitude meadows, including Padri, Jai, Guldanda, Thanthera and Khellani of non-biodegradable waste, besides carrying out a cleanliness drive at Lake View Resort Gatha, Herbal Garden Sungli and Nalthi Park.

"We are eyeing the coming winter season. The tourism players have already suffered huge losses and we will try our best to woo the tourists and welcome them with open arms," Mehta said.

According to data issued by the BDA, Bhaderwah had last year received a record 5.3 lakhs visitors. It was expected to be even better this year as two lakh tourists ascended in the valley between June 15 to July 5.

The downfall in the tourism sector is a major concern for the tourism stakeholders as almost all destinations and hotels, both in private and government sector, are witnessing zero occupancy over the past two months.

"After improvement in the overall situation, the BDA decided to go all out to attract and welcome tourists during the ongoing autumn and coming winter season," Chief Executive Officer BDA Rajinder Prasad Khajuria said.