Thursday, 5 July 2012

Monsoon hits tourists’ arrival in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Vacation Travel News
SHIMLA/MANALI: Monsoon rains are being awaited by farmers eagerly in Himachal but tourism entrepreneurs are praying for delay in showers which already have started showing its impact as the state is registering a huge decline in tourists’ arrival from mid and south India where showers have lowered the temperature.

Monsoon rains in India are vital for the farm output but dramatically it is harmful for tourism in the hills as the heat buster showers gradually slow down the pace of tourist inflow as it start covering the country. Travel agents say very few tourists from Karnataka, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai and other monsoon rich areas are on way to Himachal. Over 80 per cent tourists in Himachal are only from Delhi, Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana where heat is still persisting due to pre-monsoon showers.
Monsoon affects Himachal Tourism
A renowned travel agent from Delhi, Harsha Tripathi, said monsoon is bringing with it the bad news for Himachal and other hill stations that summer season is going to finish soon. “People from mid and south Indian states who do not have booked their holidays in advance are not interested in visiting the hills in search of soothing cold breeze. Himachal would most probably see 50 per cent decline in tourist arrival after first week of July,” he calculates.
The summer heat in country drives the people to Himachal in May and June. Monsoon covers the entire country till mid July and leaves no reason to visit hill stations to get respite from heat. Hoteliers in Manali say they have good booking only till July 10 and would be applying the off-season tariff from July 15.
Ajit Shukla, a hotelier in Manali, said almost all the hotels are occupied only by tourists from Punjab and Delhi and the occupancy is likely to drop below 50 per cent after July 10. He adds, “Duration of summer season in Himachal totally depends on monsoon. Once rains bring down the temperature, we declare it the complete off-season and dropping tariff is the only way to attract tourists.”
Adventure season in Himachal picks up the pace with arrival of monsoon but participation of only few people in adventure activities fails to bring happiness to the tourism industry. Hundreds of tourists from abroad are on way to Himachal for trekking, camping and jeep safaris but they usually stay in Manali and Shimla only for a night halt to start their onward journey to mountains. Except for adventure enthusiasts, fear of landslides and flood in rivers during monsoon keep the domestic tourists away from the Himachal.

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