The three-day snow festival in Gailyat concluded on Sunday as scores of people thronged the festival over the weekend, which was organized by the Galiyat Development Authority (GDA).
A large number of tourists flocked to Ayubia to participate in the snow festival and the rush remained the highest on the last day due to it being a holiday.
The families and groups of friends from different parts of the country showed up in great numbers to partake in skiing, snowboarding and other activities such as tug-of-war, building a snowman and snow racing as well as to attend the closing ceremony of the three-day event.
The visitors had to wait awhile for their turn for the chairlift as many of them preferred to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the area covered in white blanket. The local traders said that the arrival of 20,000 tourists for the three-day snow festival was expected. However, after the snowfall on Sunday, the arrival of the tourists was beyond their expectations.
The festival not only boosted business opportunities in Galiyat but resurrected the local hotel industry, which was in a financial crunch due to the novel coronavirus situation. A musical concert was also organised in Nathiagali on the second night of the snow festival.
The tourists said that the festival organised by GDA had gained popularity all over the country due to its unique status and arrangements. They added that such festivals help create a positive image of Pakistan in the world. They further expressed that the federal and provincial governments should organise such events on a joint basis so that people from abroad can also invest in the sector.
(K-P) Culture and Tourism Minister Shaukat Yousafzai addressed the closing ceremony of the snow festival and said that the event was a milestone for promotion of tourism. He recalled that there was a time when people were running away from the province due to the law and order situation but such events restore the confidence and trust of the visitors.
The minister lamented that terrorism caused extreme loss to the sector, adding that the restoration of tourism is the biggest priority of the government. He mentioned that the K-P government is assisting all related departments to help boost tourism in the province.