The Neelum Valley Project: Changing the Landscape of Tourism in Kashmir

Snow peaked mountains and lush green hills. Traditional wooden huts standing across glistening chilly rivers. Cozy evenings across a warm bonfire. That’s exactly what to expect in Neelum Valley, Kashmir.  

A project initiated by Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Akhuwat, Tourism and Archaeology Department AJK, and the Himalayan Wildlife Foundation (HWF), the Neelum Valley Project (NVP) aims to generate self-employment opportunities for the local community in Kashmir, by directly involving them in the tourism services of the area, subsequently enhancing travelling experiences for tourists. In addition to this, the project aims to preserve natural resources, build heritage, and protect the environment of the valley. 

The NVP team set out to achieve these goals by encouraging locals to set up and rent out spare rooms in their homes. The team began educating locals on hospitality matters, such as check-in and check-out time, room service, and how to maintain cleanliness. They also carried out workshops on payment modules and crafty skills such as stitching and embroidery, which would later allow the locals to create traditional and unique bedsheets and pillow covers for rooms they would rent out. 

Thereafter, the NVP team set out to find a reliable website and booking engine that would allow the host families to rent out their rooms directly to the public. After designing a responsive website for the project that clearly communicated the team’s vision and reflected the region’s beauty, we connected them to Ascendant’s booking engine, allowing them to seamlessly manage inventory and rates for all their rooms. 

For more information on the Neelum Valley Project, visit their website.

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