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Winter Tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan – A Vital Source of Livelihood

Gilgit, January 16: Winter tourism is emerging as a precious source of income generation for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), providing opportunities in adventure sports, festivals and showcasing the region’s distinctive culture.

With its majestic valleys, glaciers, lakes and mountain peaks, GB has immense potential for tourism activities even during the harsh winters when temperatures can drop below minus 10 degrees Celsius.

According to GB’s Secretary for Sports and Tourism, Asif Ullah Khan, around two million domestic and international tourists visited last year, with over 155 climbers summiting K2. He expressed hope for growing winter tourism that allows locals to earn.

Popular activities include skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, winter trekking and mountaineering. Locals want more festivals showcasing indigenous traditions and better infrastructure in ski resorts like Naltar and Rattu. Areas like Hunza, Khalti Lake and Kachura Lakes remain accessible for winter travelers.

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Experts say with the right level of investment and promotion, GB can achieve sporting success internationally in disciplines like ice hockey and skiing. Careful planning is required for winter trips considering weather challenges.

Overall, the winter tourist influx generates crucial income for GB’s population and should be facilitated further by authorities through marketing, cultural events and adventure sports infrastructure.

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