Pahalgam: An upbeat destination for experiential tourism

Travel is no longer serves as a break for monotony or a means of escapism from the daily chores of life. It is more of connecting at the deeper emotional level, finding oneself – a journey of self-discovery. There is a sense of restlessness that prevails amongst the urban dwellers who are looking for newer and innovative ways to keep connected to their inner being. Experiential tourism can serve as digital detox for many. Some of the key highlights of experiential tourism would be to connect to experience the local culture, cuisine, their way of life in their natural habitat. This serves as an enriching experience and therefore, has garnered much popularity amongst the new age millennial.

India with its cultural diversity has a lot to offer in terms of experiential tourism. Untouched by mass tourism, Pahalgam is one beautiful place in Kashmir which gives you a glimpse of the local culture and way of life closely. In an exclusive conversation with Asif Burza, Managing Director of WelcomHotel Pine and Peak shares that they have numerous packages curated specially for the tourists, to experience the local living.

He shares, “Pahalgam is a complete destination because of its beautiful River Lidder that offers the tourists innumerable possibilities from trout fishing, river rafting or just sitting by the river and enjoying the rush of the water. Secondly, it has beautiful meadows and treks for those who love to go for a stroll and are adrenaline rushed can go for hiking. It has wondrous places like the Betaab Valley, Aru Valley and Chandanwari which will give you a sense of being in the mountains. Pahalgam has a world-class golf course for those who love the sport and want to enjoy a getaway here. It has many options which provide all the comforts and delectable delicacies of Kashmir. I would say that Pahalgam is a complete destination if you are somebody who loves the quiet of the mountains and would enjoy the outdoors of such environment as Pahalgam offers both.”

He further elaborates that the village walk experience is a must for every tourist visiting Pahalgam. The look and feel of the things that this place has to offer leaves behind an inedible impression in the minds of the traveller. People coming from the urban jungle will find solace in the music of nature that engulfs you. The interaction with the local people of the place gives an insight into their way of life. The locals are the stakeholders of this destination.  The village walk concept involves taking of people through the village lanes, interacting with them. Guests can also savour the flavour of their traditional cooking style and join them over tea with local bread and others.

Asif, being adventure enthusiasts shares “that the hotel acts as a catalyst to create memories. There is provision for mountain biking and have trails that are beautiful and picturesque. We also make provisions for river rafting as well as zip-lining and zorbing. We have many shepherds who live in Pahalgam so we encourage our guests to have a look at their lives in today’s age where we cannot imagine how nomadic their lives can be. So we have organised a special shepherd’s trail where our guests can actually go to the forests and sit in the shepherd’s hut and eat with them and just understanding on how they really live their life. These are some of the experiences that we offer to our guests in Pahalgam.”

Pahalgam can be considered a global destination with guests visiting from across the globe. In terms of the number of countries, Pahalgam has seen tourists coming from countries like the Middle East, Indonesia, Malaysia, the SAARC countries from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Our target countries are not only from within Asia but also from Europe and the US.

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