Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Early monsoon and rumors of landslides hit tourism industry

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Early arrival of monsoon and news about stranding of tourists after landslides in various parts of north India is set to take toll on tourism industry of Himachal, with tourists concerned about the present condition in hill state. Tourists are contacting hoteliers and travel agents to know if it is safe to visit Himachal in this season or should they postpone their tour.
A long queue of tourists outside Hadimba Temple of Manali
The speed of hotel booking in Manali, the topmost tourist destination of Himachal, has decreased suddenly after heavy rainfall in north India. Hotels have very few booking after June 30 and those who have booked their tours in advance are concerned about their safety. Hoteliers have ended up with giving explanations that everything is safe in Kullu-Manali but it doesn’t seem working for the industry.
“Tourists are relating cloudbursts and landslides of Uttarakhand and Kinnaur with Manali and they don’t want to be in trouble,” Rakesh Kumar from Himanshu Resorts said. He added that rumors have spread that cloudbursts have hit the Manali and many tourists have stranded here. Ludar Thakur, general manager of Hotel Snow Peak Retreat, said, “We have snow at Rohtang and all roads are clear. Not even a minor landslide has been reported on Delhi-Manali highway. Tourists have no reason to fear and avoid Manali.”
April 15 to July 15 is the peak summer season in Himachal. Arrival of monsoon in mid June may hit the industry to the tune of crores of rupees. Now the clouds of danger are hovering over the tourist season of Manali-Ladakh bike tours and jeep safari tours. “Tourists who have already booked their tours are enquiring whether they should cancel their booking or is it safe to visit Himalayan regions in rainy season,” Kaushal Bhardwaj, owner of Discover Leh Ladakh, said.
There are some reports that tourists were also stranded in Lahaul-Spiti districts but district magistrate refused of any such incidence. Lahaul-Spiti deputy commissioner Vir Singh Thakur said, “All tourists are having fun in the valley and all are safe. Highway to Lahaul valley is operational and as Kunzum pass is closed, there are very few tourists in Spiti valley.”
Kullu deputy commissioner Sharab Chhopal Negi said entire Kullu district is enjoying pleasant weather and administration is keeping an eye on the situations.

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