One million tourists took Gulmarg Gondola ride this year

Revenue generation crosses Rs 110 cr

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Mar 31: For the first time in its history, over one million tourists took the Gulmarg Gondola this year earning a revenue of over Rs 110 crore.
“Gulmarg Gondola soars to new heights! For the first time ever more than 1 million tourists took the Gulmarg Gondola Cable Car Ride in FY 2023-24. Revenue crosses more than Rs 110 crores. J&K Tourism sees unprecedented growth which continues to surpass all previous figures,” the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department posted on X.

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Last year (2022-2023) the number of tourists who had a Gondola ride were 8.5 lakh while in 2021-2022, 6 lakh tourists took the ride.
Director Tourism, Raja Yaqoob, who is also incharge of the Gulmarg Gondola told Excelsior that on an average 3400-3500 tourists take the Gondola ride daily. “The demand is 7000-8000 per day but as per the capacity, the Gondola can only ferry 3400-3500 tourists daily,” he said.
“We can’t overload it. It may lead to mishaps. This is being done to ensure safety and security of the tourists,” he said.
Raja said that several safety tests and overhauling of the second phase of the Gondola with the latest technology was done to improve its load carrying capacity.
He said services over the years have been improved and enhanced. “The Gulmarg Gondola is in great demand and in order to streamline the ticketing, the booking of tickets is online only. This has been done to stop black-marketing by vested interests,” he added.
Gulmarg Gondola which is the second longest and second highest cable cars in the world is one of the main attractions for tourists at the ski resort. It takes tourists from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg and Apharwat at a height of 14,000 ft.
The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir Government and French firm Pomagalski. The first stage built in 1998 takes tourists from the Gulmarg resort at 8,694 ft to Kongdoori valley. The second stage of the ropeway built in 2005, which has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes skiers and tourists to a height of 13,058 feet to nearby Afarwat Peak.
The cable car has been running smoothly since its launch but an accident occurred on 15th June 2017 due to uprooting of a pine tree by gusty winds and breaking the perspex windows on one of the Gondola cabins leading to death of seven occupants.

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