Online Gondola tickets; 80 percent livelihood of tourist guides affected, says Prez Guide Association Gulmarg

Gandola ride in gulmarg

Miscreants trying to malign image of top tourist destination, fake Gondola tickets have adversely affected local people associated with Gulmarg tourism, locals demand shifting of ticketing system to offline mode to curb illegal sales

In a bid to stop the illegal selling of fake Gondola tickets to the tourists, the locals at famous tourist destination Gulmarg have been demanding the shift back of the online ticketing system to go offline, says the rampant incidents of fake ticket selling is maligning the image of the famous ski-resort. However, president Gulmarg guides association says their 80 percent livelihood has been affected by the online system.

Speaking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Jahengir Ahmed Bhat, a social activist from Gulmarg said that miscreants are trying to malign the image of a famous tourist destination by selling fake tickets to the tourists who mostly are from outside the union territory. The acts are adversely affecting the people here in Gulmarg, besides it is taking a toll on the livelihood of people.

“The Gulmarg authorities must shift back the ticketing system from online to offline as it used to be a few years back. The online ticket system has increased the selling of fake tickets as there is every possibility because technology is advanced and editing nowadays is not a big deal,” he said.

He said that the authorities, instead of an online system, should increase the number of ticket counters to tackle the time consuming process and inconvenience to the tourists due to increasing footfall. "There must be a scanner before entering the Gondola for a ride to check the authenticity of tickets", he added.

President Guides Association Gulmarg, Mushtaq Ahmed Lone told KNO, that their 80 percent livelihood has been adversely affected by the online ticketing system. Offline ticketing was accommodating people including guides, people on counters, but they all have been affected now.

He said that, earlier they were having 30 percent of the quota but after the system was changed to online, the quotas were withdrawn, which severely affected their livelihood. “We were not taken on board when the system was changed to online,” he alleged.

A total number of registered people to Gulmarg guide association has touched 918 people, how would they survive? Questions Mushtaq. "As of now, the offline ticketing too is taking place but Gulmarg authorities have been calling that as VVIP quota. Some 400 offline ticket bookings take place", he said. The situation has forced a few of the guides to do the black marketing of ticketing, as they are not able to earn their livelihood, he said.

“We moved from pillar to post to get our genuine demands redressed, besides taking the issue with CEO Gulmarg, chief secretary and other concerned but so far nothing has been done on the ground. Let the administration think over it and give us a quota as we were earlier having, so that we too can earn our livelihood,” he said.

Meanwhile, CEO Gulmarg Development Authority and Managing Director, JK Cable Car Corporation, Ghulam Jeelani Zargar despite repeated attempts didn't respond to the calls and texts from this correspondent.

Pertinent to mention here that several fraudsters involved in selling fake Gondola tickets were arrested this month. With the officials saying that they are working closely with the police to arrest fraudsters and travel agencies involved in fraudulent activities

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