Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas competitions in Manali

Shivani Jain from Ludhiana wins the Christmas Queen title in Manali

A couple working hard to win the lemon dance competition during

A couple enjoys balloon dance during Christmas competitions in Manali

Friday, 23 December 2011

Himachal emphasizes importance of quality tourism

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: In what could be the better way to provide best hospitality to domestic and international tourists with a tourist-friendly atmosphere, Himachal government is planning to add tourism subject to the middle classes in schools, a source attending board of tourism development meeting in Dharamshala disclosed on Friday.
Tourism is the second most source of income in Himachal after apple production. Now state is planning of making tourism the religion of every resident to create a friendly atmosphere for the tourists. Plans are that books on freedom fighters of Himachal would also be taught in the schools. Also, the Himachal tourism development board has given its nod to enforce ‘quality tourism certificate’ to encourage international standards along with secure environment to the tourists. Now, each dhaba, hotel, restaurant, resort, travel agency and taxi operators will have to fulfil around 35 parameters to obtain the quality tourism certificate.
“Efforts of HP tourism development board and Manali hoteliers’ association have finally paid off and quality tourism certification scheme would be enforced soon so that our visitors would feel the world class comfort at ordinary cost,” executive member of the board Gajender Thakur said. He said that this certificate would ensure that tourists are safe and would not be defrauded.
For the convenience of tourists, Manali hoteliers’ association has prepared a documentary on all famous attractions of Kullu-Manali which would be shortly available on websites of all the hotels of district. Documentary would also help advertise the tourism of the state. Former Kullu MLA Chander Sen Thakur said that Manali is the most popular hill station of the country and some firm steps are needed to be taken to develop its infrastructure and quality. “We have discussed about making Manali development authority with the tourism board and state chief minister. We hope that it would certainly raise the tourism standards in Manali,” he said.
More than 50% population of Himachal is directly or indirectly dependent on tourism. To make it a religion of new breeds, a modern hotel management and catering institute in Manali has received a green signal from government. Before this, the state has only two such institutes in Kufri and Hamirpur.
Gajender Thakur said that education, quality and hospitality are the only ways to impress the tourists from abroad and the board was planning to impart education to all hoteliers, travel agents, taxi operators and restaurant owners.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Hotels in Manali to go fully occupied for New Year

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: If you are planning to visit Kullu-Manali during Christmas and New Year eve, make sure you have booked your hotel in advance, otherwise, you may have to spend chilling nights on roads. With strong possibility of white Christmas, around 50,000 tourists are expected to reach here this time.
All parking places of Manali are jam packed and hotels are getting unexpected bookings two weeks before the Christmas. Recent snowfall has proved tourist puller for Manali. 50 percent of the total bookings are only because of fresh snowfall. Almost 60 percent hotel rooms are already occupied. And 75% hotels are fully booked after December 22.
“Snow is a magnet that attracts tourists towards Manali and brings smiles to the hoteliers,” owner of hotel Royal Regency Devender Verma said adding that 80 percent rooms of the hotels are already booked between December 20 and January 3.
Palchan village on Manali-Rohtang highway
Hotels in Manali are organizing bonfires, DJ parties and gala dinners on Christmas and New Year eve for the entertainment of tourists. Though, they are offering no discounts to their customers, but tourists are booking their packages after hearing the lists of services they would get in return.
Owner of Holiday Cottages Roshan Thakur said whether it snows or not during the Christmas week, but tourists may feel the cold environment with lots of snows already on the backdrop. “Candle light dinners in apple orchards, disco, bonfire, special flower decoration would be provided to the guest to make their New Year memorable. Packages are selling like hot cakes,” he adds.
Himachal Pradesh tourism development corporation hotels too are having good business in Manali. Deputy director of the corporation BN Kapoor said all the hotels are having good business and occupancy rate would go double after Decemeber 20. “This snowfall has rejuvenated the tourism industry in Manali. Advance booking for Christmas and New Year has picked up the pace. Christmas queen contest and other programs would be organized at club house Manali on December 25 eve,” he added.
According to travel agents, inquiry for Christmas and New Year packages for Manali is higher than any other hill stations. “Tourists may have to face problems in on-the-spot hotel booking as most of the hotels are already booked. Travel agent association has estimated the number of tourists reaching for Christmas at around 50,000,” a travel agent Inder Singh said.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Tourists enjoys first snowfall of the season in Manali

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Residents of Manali woke up to the snow on Friday morning. White sheet of snow brought cheers to the farmers and a surprise gift for thousands of tourists visiting Manali.
Mall Road and Nehru Kund were the snow point for tourists who enjoyed skiing and other naughty events. News of the snowfall in Manali has cast a spell on people in planes. Parkings of Manali are jam packed with tourist cabs and thousands more are expected to arrive here by next few days.
Snowfall on Manali Mall Road
A newlywed couple from Delhi Amritanshu and Priyanka expressed their feelings, “It is like dream come true for us. We had never thought that almighty would bless our wedding with such a wonderful gift. We have no words to express our feelings.”
Another couple Lucknow, Vineet and Srishti said they had prayed God before leaving from home that they should witness snowfall in Manali. Srishti adds, “I had only seen snowfall in TV programmes. This is my first visit to any hill station and I could see what I was praying and dreaming of.”

Vehicles trapped in snowfall

A tourist walks on slush after snow melts in Manali town

According to travel agents, thousands of tourists are planning to visit Manali in next week only to see the fresh snow. “News of snowfall in Manali is being forecasted everywhere in the country. Tourists who had dreamed of snowfall are on their way to Manali. All the inquiries are only for snow,” owner of Wonderfull Himachal, Vijay Kumar said.

Tourists have decorated the complexes of hotels with different shapes of snowmen. Despite traffic congestions within the city, and not caring for biting cold, tourists enjoyed strolling on 15 cm snowfall spread over the city.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

15cm fresh snowfall at Rohtang pass

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Rohtang pass has received 15 cm fresh snowfall on Wednesday blocking the road link between Manali and Lahaul-Spiti. At least 10 light vehicles were reported to be stranded here but later they managed to escape somehow.
Fresh snowfall in Solang valley near Manali
Movement of the vehicles was restricted to Marhi, 17km below Rohtang pass, for safety reasons. With snowfall at Baralacha, Kunzam and Rohtang pass, the Lahaul valley has been cut off from the rest of the country. If weather allows, tourists would be allowed to reach Rohtang pass on Tuesday. Some lucky tourists witnessed the fresh snowfall at Marhi afternoon. But the spell lasted for less than one hour.
Manali deputy superintendent of police Shamsher Singh said that knowing the hostile weather conditions at Rohtang pass, movement of vehicles were restricted to Marhi. “When density of snowfall was increased after some time, tourists were not allowed to go beyond Gulaba, 22km from Manali. We are monitoring every movement on Manali-Rohtang highway,” he said.
Keylong and some regions of the Lahaul received nominal amount of snow while Kullu, Manali and mid hills of the district received light rainfall.