Thursday, 24 January 2013

No worries here, heavy snowfall proves beneficial for tourism industry in Manali

SHIMLA/ MANALI/ DALHOUSIE: Fresh snowfall in Shimla, Manali and Dalhousie seems to have worked well for tourism industry as hoteliers and travel agents have flooded with inquiries regarding winter holiday tours in February which is termed as off-season month in Himachal. Hotel occupancy is also likely to double during Republic Day and ODI cricket match in Dharamshala.
Tourists on Manali Mall Road
Hills and valleys with white mantle are attracting tourists to experience the winters of Himachal. In addition to tourists from Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and Delhi, most of the tourists are from southern Indian states. Despite troubling surface transport due to heavy snowfall, good flow of tourists in this season has cheered the tourism industry, which is the main source of income for thousands of people here. According to sources, three to five groups from various schools and colleges are reaching Manali every day, besides hundreds of honeymooners.
Mehar Chand Thakur, owner of Holiday Cottages and Resorts Manali, said February is going to be fantastic in terms of tourism and their phones are continuously ringing with inquiries and status of snow from tourists. “Snow is the foundation of tourism in Manali. Heavy snowfall has rejuvenated our tourism. It’s the party time as both hoteliers and tourists are happy,” he said.
Not only winter season but good snowfall has ensured good summer season in Himachal as tourists spots like Gulaba, Marhi and Rohtang pass have several feet of snow where tourists can enjoy in summer months. Rohtang being the only tourist spot of the country where tourists can find snow round the year, it is the place which decides the economy of Manali and even other tourist towns of Himachal. Currently, Rohtang has over 15 feet of snow which may increase up to 60 feet till end of March.
Gajender Thakur, owner of hotel Shandela, said though the unexpectedly heavy snowfall brings with it many problems but it is also true that snowfall has proved boon for tourism industry of the state. “Thousands of tourists are on way to see the heaps of snow spread over Manali, Shimla and Dalhousie. Worry lines have finished now as good snow has ensured merry time.”
Manali, Shimla and Dharmashala hoteliers are preparing to host more tourists during Republic Day and ODI cricket match in the weekend. According to hoteliers, they would get good number of guests after cricket match in Dharmashala.

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