Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Manali cheers tourist crowd with 90% occupied hotels

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: With tourists wandering hotel to hotel in search of rooms and most of the tourists not being able to get cabs for sightseeing, Manali town has come to standstill with unexpected high rush of tourists these days.
Tourists having fun in snow at Rohtang Pass in Manali
Last weekend, Manali saw the record increase in arrival of tourists with over 2,000 non-Himachal registered vehicles, including Volvo and buses entering town every day. Demand for local cabs is extremely high and more than the capacity of the town. Hundreds of tourists who are visiting without advance booking are facing problems in finding the rooms as most of the hotels have already been sold out for next two weeks. Tourists are spending hours only to find a room and many of them are travelling up to 30km outside the town to maximize possibility to find empty rooms.
“We knocked at every hotel reception located in middle of the town on Sunday evening but could not find a room. Finally had to drive back for 10km towards Kullu and booked a guest house,” a tourist from Patiala, Vinod Sharma, said, who spend whole day in town as cab was not available to Rohtang pass. “I spoke to dozens of travel agents and local taxi union but could not get a taxi. Everybody was replying that all taxis have already been hired,” he said.
According to sources, over ten thousand tourists are entering Manali town everyday that generally stay here for four to five days. Manali has nearly 2.5 thousand cabs which are not able to meet the demand. Hotels in Manali have capacity of nearly 30 thousand beds which get choked in peak summer season. Similar is the condition of highways and streets where no space is left to park even a bike. Sources said Manali saw all time high tourists on Saturday and Sunday. Rising temperature in plains is being attributed for this unexpected tourist flow.
Despite boom in tourism, hoteliers are not happy due to weak infrastructure and traffic management in Manali. “Hotel occupancy has reached 90 percent which has brought cheers among all tourism entrepreneurs here. But tourists are not happy with the facilities that they expect from us. Hour-long traffic jams, narrow roads and non-availability of quality food and toilets on Rohtang area is annoying the tourists,” Manali hoteliers’ association president Anup Thakur said. We are happy to see the tourist crowd but if the infrastructure of Manali is not improved, it would leave its negative impact later, he said.

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