Snowfall and winter sports lend impetus to tourism in northern India

Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: The Indian tourism industry enjoyed a boost as a good bout of snowfall in northern Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday encouraged an influx of holidayers ahead of Christmas. Regions in the foothills of Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh received the first snowfall of the season, much to the delight of hundreds of tourists from the plains and the local residents. Following the snowfall, tourists in large numbers thronged the popular skiing destination of Kufri, which is just 16 kilometres away from the hill city of Shimla. Despite the burst of cold weather amidst snowfall and icy winds, winter season is a boon for the residents in Kufri as the inflow of tourists is a bonanza for those engaged in hospitality and travel industry. “Two days ago, there has been snowfall here. This has helped in attracting tourists to winter sports like skiing, tube riding and other activities. People are enjoying. Our business is booming,” said a resident, Sahil Sharma. Perched at a height of 2,510 metres above sea level, Kufri is known for its picturesque trekking and hiking trails. Tourists from across the world prefer to visit Kufri during winters to experience skiing and tobogganing along its snow clad mountainous slopes. For some tourists, it was their first tryst with snow at Kufri that left them excited and simply amazed. “I came for the first time here. Last night there was snowfall here. I experienced it for the first time and enjoyed a lot,” a tourist from New Delhi, Vijay Kumar said. While some tourists skied with enthusiasm, other took horse rides through the snowy paths. Close to four to five inches of snowfall has been recorded in different areas of the valley. Located in the tropics, most of India witnesses very hot summers and largely temperate winters. Snowfall over the last two days in the northern half of the country had a direct impact on the temperatures that plummeted in several provinces, including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.