Thursday, 11 April 2013

Manali may cross 35 lakh landmark in tourists' arrival

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Despite having bedding capacity of more than 25,000, which is more than that in Delhi, tourists visiting Manali this summer may have to struggle a lot to get a room as over 50 per cent rooms have already been sold for May and June, while remaining rooms are likely to be reserved soon, sources said.

Tourists on Manali Mall Road (HV file pic)

With over 32 lakh tourists visiting Manali in 2012, the tourist town witnessed an increase of 15% only in a year. In 2010, 25.29 lakh tourists visited Manali and the number increased to 27.98 lakh in 2011. Number of tourists is expected to cross milestone of 35 lakh this year. Manali has over 800 hotels, resorts, guest houses and homestay units, and all have been flooded with thousands of booking enquiries for summer. Even the April month is expected to see big crowd and many hotels have full occupancy after April 20.

“Almost all good hotels are booked for most of the days in May and June. Even March end was fully occupied. Seems like summer tourist season is going to start earlier than usual and Manali is going to set another record in tourists’ arrival,” owner of hotel Beas Vatika Rakesh Thakur said. He said February and March months, which are believed to be off-season, also kept cheering hoteliers with constant flow of tourists.
According to hoteliers, tourists from Kashmir are diverting to Himachal and all parts of the state would be crowded with tourists very soon. Another hotelier, Surendra Shekhawat, said, advance booking rate is very high this year as compare to the previous years. “The trend of online booking has led to selling out of all good hotels many months in advance. The only negative point is that those who do not believe in advance booking struggle to find rooms after their arrival. This year all hoteliers are certainly going to mint good money,” he said.
The unexpectedly high rush of tourists is causing frequent traffic jams in Manali and its tourist spots including Solang and Hadimba temple. Parking is another problem that tourists are facing here. Kullu police is going to depute 40 more personnel to regulate the traffic from April 20, a police source said.
According to data from Himachal tourism department, nearly 10 lakh domestic and overseas tourists visited Manali in 2001. The figure has increased by over 200% only in 12 years.
Cheering Data
Year - No of tourists visiting Manali
2001: 10 lakh
2002: 11 lakh
2003: 13 lakh
2004: 15 lakh
2005: 17 lakh
2006: 19 lakh
2007: 20 lakh
2008: 21 lakh
2009: 23.5 lakh
2010: 25.29 lakh
2011: 27.98 lakh
2012: 32 lakh

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