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PM's visit affects Srinagar hotels

Source: PTI
May 24, 2006 12:05 IST
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Increased security measures and tension due to a series of terrorist attacks ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the Valley have forced tourists to abandon the city of Dal Lake and camp at cooler climes like Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg.

Even as security agencies busied themselves with plugging the holes in the security set up for the prime minister's visit, tourists started moving away from Srinagar to faraway places like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Yusmarg.

According to hotel industry sources, rooms in Srinagar's lodges and guest houses have been rendered vacant for the next three days.

The major attractions for tourists in Srinagar, the waters of Dal Lake, have been put off limits for the shikarawallahs as the venue of the prime minister's round table is to be held at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre on the banks of the lake.

There were many unlucky tourists who could not get away from Srinagar in time as many vehicles, packed with visitors heading out of the city, were asked to stop by security forces.

However, the bane of the city hotels is turning into a boon for the hotels at the resorts.

Pahalgam hotels were all sold out till Sunday while Gulmarg is also facing acute shortage of rooms to accomodate the huge influx of tourists.

The sources said many hotels have started erecting tented accommodation for the tourists to make hay while the sun shines.

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