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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed flagged off a helicopter service between the summer capital of the state and health resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam in the valley.
“To boost the appetite for Kashmir’s exotic locales amongst affluent clientele, Sayeed flagged off the first-ever helicopter service to health resorts of Pahalgam and Gulmarg from Srinagar Airport,” an official spokesman said.
The Chief Minister interacted with the first group of tourists before the chopper made its maiden sortie to signal a new phase in tourism promotion of the state, the spokesman said.
“Even though only a small fraction of travellers will take chopper rides initially, it is a big step towards positioning Kashmir as a high-end destination,” Sayeed said.
Describing the launch of chopper service and air safaris as a big initiative, Sayeed hoped that the service will have a multiplier effect with more and more upmarket travellers preferring chopper travel directly from the airport to Valley’s premier tourist destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam to save on time.
“After de-boarding aircraft, visitors can hop on to a fleet of choppers and reach their destinations in less than 15 minutes,” he said.
Referring to the fillip helicopter service will provide to golf, conference and adventure tourism in the state, the Chief Minister said “our hope with this unique opportunity is to create an exclusive and luxurious offer that will allure guests to experience the thrill of helicopter ride over captivating destinations like Pahalgam, Sonamarg and Gulmarg.
“It will also promote heli-skiing, which has a huge potential in Kashmir valley,” he added