The mesmerizing views of heavy snowfall in the Queen of Mountains – Murree have exponentially increased the tourists’ influx as the nature lovers and families have thronged the snow-clad hill station. Talking to APP, Muhammad Nasir, a tourist said finding a room nowadays in any of the hotels of Murree has become an uphill task. “People have no option but to stay at Islamabad for a night or two before departing for the snowcapped mountains in the North,” he added. According to details available, only 43% hotels of 3 to 5 star quality that are listed with Google Local have availability. The remaining 57% are going houseful and not offering additional bookings. “Although Islamabad receives guests every month on the calendar, we host a remarkably high number of tourists between September to December,” informed Manager Shelton’s Ambassador hotel Tanveer Ahmed. He told that more than 40% of tourists staying in his hotel came from Punjab, while 30% of the guests belonged to Sindh. “They stay with us for a day or two before leaving for Murree or other snow covered areas in the North,” he added. Adnan Iqbal, Sales Manager of Crown Plaza Hotel told a similar story. He informed that during the summer, they get only 60-70% of rooms booked by guests while in winter,adding, “100% of our space is booked by foreign and local tourists.” The scenic federal capital is the conduit between the North and South regions of the country and embraces a special scenario in winter season. It’s geographical location makes the metropolis an ideal place for tourists en route to the North to stay and rest for a while. “A large portion of tourists staying at our hotel usually go to Murree, Naran, Galyat, or Azad Kashmir, but a relatively small portion stays in Islamabad and visits the tourist points including, Daman-e-Koh, Monal, Lake View Park, Fatima Jinnah Park, and Pakistan Monument,” said Muhammad Saqib, Manager Walk In Residence. It has been noted that the tourist rush to Islamabad increases manifolds after snowfall at Murree and adjacent hilly areas. It is, therefore, expected that tourists in record number will throng Islamabad this week as the Met Office weather forecast expects rain and snow in Islamabad, Murree, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Kashmir. Muhammad Sohaib, a tourist who came from Karachi along with his family to enjoy freezing weather of Murree said that the traffic jam, and parking issues did not allow him to enjoy the tour to the fullest. He had planned to spend the whole week in Murree, but returned to Islamabad overnight. He appealed to the local government to take tangible steps to facilitate tourists and resolve the issues faced by them as soon as possible.