Tourists throng Kashmir as violence ebbs

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Gulmarg, Feb 28 : Domestic and foreign tourists are increasingly thronging Kashmir once again as militancy related violence in the valley comes down.

The region where gunfire and bomb blasts had become the order of the day, is now proving to be a major attraction for tourists from different European and Asian countries.

"I come for skiing because the slopes are so excellent, there is such good snow and so much terrain," said Joltey Hagen, a foreign tourist.

"We have heard many good things about Gulmarg. We have seen them in movies and magazines, we are here to explore it," said Paul Morison, another tourist.

Kashmiris also expressed happiness over seeing the tourists visiting the valley again.

Kashmir's economy is heavily dependent on tourism, but 17 years of Islamist militancy has shattered it.

But with New Delhi and Islamabad launching a peace initiative in 2004, tourists have started returning to the valley, that was once popular among honeymooners, skiers, trekkers and anglers.

ANI

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