Asia's Highest Cable Car in Gulmarg: A New Tourism High for Kashmir

Asia's Highest Cable Car in Gulmarg: A New Tourism High for Kashmir

By Author

Published on November 28, 2023

Kashmir's crown jewel in tourism, the Gulmarg Gondola, is soaring to new heights of popularity. This year, the Gondola, renowned for its breathtaking views at 14,000 feet, has attracted over nine lakh tourists. And guess what? That number is expected to cross a million soon!

Operated by the J&K Cable Car Corporation, the Gulmarg Gondola isn't just a ride; it's an experience. It's not only Asia's highest operating cable car but also a symbol of Kashmir's burgeoning tourism scene. Tourists describe their journey as “surreal and captivating,” making it a must-visit destination in Kashmir.

The folks at the Cable Car Corporation have been busy bees this year. They've revamped ticketing, run safety checks, and introduced new tech, all to make the Gondola's second phase even more impressive. Raja Yaqoob, the managing director, is all about giving tourists a smooth, safe, and fun ride. He's also hinting at some cool upgrades for the winter season. And hey, if you're planning a ride, book your tickets online and stick to your time slot to keep things smooth.

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Kashmir's overall tourist numbers are nothing short of incredible. In February 2023 alone, about 1.2 lakh visitors chose to explore this paradise, with 90% heading straight to the Gulmarg ski resort. Last year, J&K welcomed a record 1.88 crore visitors. That's a big leap from the average numbers over the past four decades!

The Gulmarg Gondola itself is a marvel of engineering. It has two phases: one taking you from Gulmarg resort to the scenic Kongdori valley and then up to Apharwath Peak. With 108 cabins and 18 towers, it offers a view you can't find anywhere else.

In short, Kashmir, with its stunning Gulmarg Gondola, is firmly on the map as a premier tourist destination. Whether it's the allure of the highest cable car ride or the charm of the ski resort, Kashmir is calling, and it seems like the world is listening!


Booking.com Joins Forces with Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center, Amplifying LGBTQ+ Representation in Travel and History

Booking.com Joins Forces with Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center, Amplifying LGBTQ+ Representation in Travel and History

By Nishang Narayan

Published on June 17, 2024

Booking.com is enhancing its mission to make travel accessible for everyone by announcing a new partnership with the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center. This collaboration aims to preserve and promote LGBTQ+ history and culture, reinforcing Booking.com's commitment to diversity and inclusion in the travel industry.

Arjan Dijk, CMO and Senior Vice President of Booking.com, expressed pride in being a Founding Partner of the Visitor Center, stating, "Booking.com is incredibly proud to be a Founding Partner of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center, making it easier for visitors to learn more about a significant piece of history for the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement, in one of the most popular travel destinations in the world."

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This partnership announcement coincides with Booking.com's release of new research emphasizing the importance of inclusivity in travel. Key insights include:

  • Over half (59%) of American LGBTQ+ travelers have faced discrimination while traveling.

  • 50% of American LGBTQ+ travelers feel more insecure and self-conscious due to their LGBTQ+ identity.

  • More than half (58%) of American LGBTQ+ travelers prefer destinations with established LGBTQ+ tourism, while 46% seek destinations where they can promote social awareness and acceptance.

  • 72% of American LGBTQ+ travelers acknowledge that increased inclusivity in the travel industry has made them feel more comfortable.

For more detailed insights, the research methodology, and global statistics, please visit the Booking.com global media room.

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About Booking.com

Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com's mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. By leveraging technology to reduce travel friction, Booking.com connects millions of travelers with memorable experiences daily. Follow @bookingcom on social media or visit globalnews.booking.com for more information.


Holiday Inn Club Vacations Launches All-New, My Vacation Portal

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Launches All-New, My Vacation Portal

By Nishang Narayan

Published on June 17, 2024

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Incorporated, an international vacation ownership company, has launched My Vacation Portal, an innovative online platform designed specifically for Club Members and owners. This new portal offers a centralized, self-service tool for booking reservations, managing upcoming stays, accessing key membership details, making payments, and more.

"At Holiday Inn Club Vacations, customer obsession is one of our core growth strategies. We are passionate about providing great service and empowering guests to interact with our brand on their own terms," said JP Hurtado, Chief Information Officer at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Incorporated. "In crafting My Vacation Portal, our focus was on our owners and Club Members. We engaged them throughout the development process, regularly gathering their feedback, testing features, and incorporating their recommendations. The outcome is a user-friendly tool tailored to their needs today while staying aligned with the evolving preferences of future consumers."

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Key Features of My Vacation Portal:

  • Optimized Design: Seamless access on web browsers and mobile devices.

  • Multi-Location Search: Room photo galleries and the ability to book reservations.

  • Centralized Platform: Manage both membership and HOA, including making HOA/maintenance fee payments.

  • Self-Service Capabilities: Transfer Club Points to IHG One Rewards Points and extend Club Points.

  • Access to Details: View upcoming stays, current and future payments, partnership details (e.g., IHG One Rewards member number), current Club Points, exclusive offers, and more.

My Vacation Portal is part of several digital transformation investments made by Holiday Inn Club Vacations to enhance the experience for owners and Club Members. The platform will be continuously updated and enhanced to elevate user experience.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Members and owners can now access My Vacation Portal by visiting myvacationportal.com and logging in with their credentials.

To see how My Vacation Portal appears to Club Members and owners, view the video here.

About Holiday Inn Club Vacations Incorporated

Encompassing resorts across the United States and the Mexican Caribbean, Holiday Inn Club Vacations Incorporated is a resort, real estate, and travel company with a mission to be the most loved brand in family travel by delivering easy-to-plan, memorable vacation experiences that strengthen families.

Based in Orlando, Florida, the company has been a leader in the vacation ownership industry since 1982, when Holiday Inn® founder Kemmons Wilson debuted the company's flagship property, Holiday Inn Club Vacations® at Orange Lake Resort, next to Orlando's Walt Disney World® Resort.

Today, the Holiday Inn Club Vacations resort portfolio spans across the United States and into the Mexican Caribbean, following the company's international expansion in May 2023. Throughout its history, the company has maintained the core family values true to its founding Wilson family, while aggressively pursuing growth, transforming its member engagement model, and building an industry-leading team passionate about the guest experience.


Top Summer Holiday Destinations for Indian Travelers Revealed by Agoda

Top Summer Holiday Destinations for Indian Travelers Revealed by Agoda

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on June 17, 2024

As summer approaches, Indian travelers are eagerly planning their vacations, with a strong preference for international destinations. Digital travel platform Agoda has unveiled the most searched destinations for Indian tourists, highlighting a clear trend towards Southeast Asian locales. The top city destinations for the summer months of May and June include Bali, Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur.

Popular Destinations:

Bali: Known for its serene beaches and rich cultural heritage, Bali remains a top choice for Indian travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure.

Singapore: This city-state attracts tourists with its modern urban environment, vibrant nightlife, and unique attractions like Gardens by the Bay.

Bangkok: Famous for its bustling street life and cultural landmarks, Bangkok continues to be a favorite among those looking for an exciting urban experience.

Dubai: Offering a mix of shopping, entertainment, and cultural experiences, Dubai appeals to tourists who enjoy luxury and adventure.

Kuala Lumpur: The capital of Malaysia is renowned for its iconic skyline, diverse culinary scene, and historical landmarks.

Regional Preferences:

Agoda's data indicates that Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia are the most searched countries, with the United Arab Emirates also making the top five. This reflects Indian travelers' growing interest in diverse cultural experiences, vibrant cityscapes, and scenic beaches offered by these regions.

Krishna Rathi, Senior Country Director for the India Subcontinent and Maldives at Agoda, noted, “The allure of Southeast Asia continues to captivate Indian travelers as they seek out new experiences and leisure opportunities. The diversity of destinations like Bali, with its serene beaches and rich traditions, along with the urban excitement of cities like Singapore and Bangkok, serves a broad spectrum of travel preferences. Furthermore, the many searches for Dubai and Kuala Lumpur show an inclination towards combining shopping, entertainment, and cultural engagement.”

Regions that offer a blend of leisure, culture, and culinary delights rank high among Indian tourists. Agoda’s platform caters to this demand by providing a wide array of accommodations, flights, and activities, making it easier for travelers to plan and book their ideal summer vacation.

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