Sunday, 29 September 2013

Himachal turns mini “West Bengal”

Himachal Vacation Travel News
SHIMLA/ MANALI: With thousands of tourists from West Bengal thronged Himachal Pradesh to enjoy their holidays, the hill state has turned mini-Bengal where every third tourist is Bengali. Density of Bengali tourists is going to increase even more in October when their beeline is expected towards Himachal following “puja vacations” in West Bengal.
Tourists from West Bengal throng Himachal Pradesh
Kinnaur, Spiti, Manali and Shimla are the major places of interest for Bengali tourists where they have started thronging. Though tourists from neighbouring states like Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and Delhi are also visiting Himachal to enjoy the pleasant weather here, but majority of tourists are from West Bengal. As they come to stay for long time period, their arrival has cheered the tourism industry of the state. Mostly Bengali tourists visit Himachal during onset of winters and in summer months of May and June. 
Kinnaur is emerging as the first choice of Bengali tourists where advance booking for October reveals that almost all hotels are going to be occupied fully after Navratra pujas. Popularity of towns of Kinnaur, Shimla and Manali among Bengali tourists has led to opening of many Bengali restaurants here. Most of the hotels in Kinnaur are on lease-purchase by Bengali people who are handling clients from their own state with their own traditions and styles.
A Bengali man, Shyamal Debnath, who has purchased hotel Aucktong on lease in Kalpa village of Kinnaur, said tourists from his native place have started thronging. He said, “Large numbers of Bengali tourists are expected to visit Kinnaur next month which will turn this tribal district into mini-Bengal. 70% of the total tourists visiting Kinnaur are only from West Bengal, 20% are from abroad and only 10% are from other states of the country.”
Kolkata being one the most crowded and noisy cities of the country, people from this metropolis look for a calm place to recharge their mind and soul and this is the reason that they always look for a serene place, preferably tribal area, to enjoy their holidays, sources said. Damaging of road between Kinnaur and Spiti has hit Bengali season in Spiti but Manali is recording a good start.
“This is good start of Bengali season. Still we have moderate customers but their number is increasing rapidly. Market is crowding with them,” managing director of Van Vihar restaurant and hotel Kamlesh Thakur said, who serves Bengali food especially to the guests from WB. Bengali tourists are also visiting Shimla, Dalhousie and Dharamshala in large numbers.
Shopkeepers who sell souvenirs, traditional clothes and fancy goods claim Bengali tourists do the maximum shopping in their shops. A shopkeeper Sanjeev Mahant said, “They bargain a lot but still they buy lots of stuffs. Every Bengali returns home with dozens of shopping bags in hands. They try everything. Many shops may shut down if Bengali tourists stop visiting Himachal.”

Sunday, 22 September 2013

National level seminar on Energy Conservation in Hotel Industry organized

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: A national level seminar on the theme of Energy Conservation in Hotel Industry was organized under collective efforts of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Germany and Manali Tourism Stakeholders' Association in Manali on Saturday.
Seminar on conservation of energy in hotel industry

Regional director of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dilip Sharma said that conservation of energy is a need of hour and we need to save energy for our next generation. Talking about the hotel industry of Himachal, he said that hotels consume large portion of the energy in Himachal and 20 per cent expenses of the hotels are by unnecessarily use of water heaters, boilers, air conditioning systems, refrigeration, heaters, pumps and motors. “Use of solar energy is the best alternative that can bring down the expenses and also save the limited sources of energy,” he said.

Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) deputy director SN Singh said that our country is spending billions of dollars on importing petroleum products from abroad which is severely impacting our economy. “Motive of this seminar is to spread a message that people should use energy but the most important thing is that how and when we should use energy to stop its unnecessary use.”
Seminar on conservation of energy in hotel industry in Manali

Officials present in the seminar emphasized upon maximum use of solar energy. Manali sub-divisional magistrate Vinay Dhiman requested all the hoteliers to save energy wherever it is possible. He added that seminar is sending a positive message to the tourism industry to save energy and he said that more such seminars should be organized in future.

Manali Tourism Stakeholders’ Association president Gajender Thakur thanked all the dignitaries from across the country to make this seminar a success. He also said that association will encourage hoteliers to use solar energy to save power and other energy sources. Officials from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC), Thapar University, Thermax Ltd, Philips Ltd and Intersolar Systems Pvt Ltd also spoke on the same issue.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Manali mountains get first snow of season

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Mountains surrounding Manali are glittering like silver with first snowfall of the season which is continuing since Sunday. The intermittent snowfall has sent light waves of cold towards valleys where mercury has dipped abnormally.
Fresh snowfall near Rohtang pass in Manali
Mountain peaks including Rohtang, Hamta, Deo Tibba, Indrasan, Hanuman Tibba and Friendship peak are getting light snowfall. Lower parts of Kullu district are experiencing light rainfall and people in Manali town and adjoining villages were forced to wear woollens. Mountains around Lahaual also received some snow which has triggered cold wave condition in entire valley.
Snow has brought good news for tourism industry of Manali as a beeline of tourists is expected to throng this town to see the fresh snow near Rohtang pass. Meanwhile, hoteliers are preparing for winter season and are bringing out quilts and room heaters for their guests.
Contrary to cheering moments for tourism industry, fruit growers and farmers are not happy with snowfall and drop in temperature. It’s a peak potato season in Lahaul valley and apple season in Kullu district and snowfall may wreak havoc on them. Stockmen are collecting and drying grass from farms to stock for the winter season. Apple trees in Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts are laden with fruits and snowfall may destroy entire harvest.

Monday, 16 September 2013

River Rafting, Paragliding restart in Kullu-Manali

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Two months after Kullu administration had imposed a complete ban on water and aero sports following fierce monsoon, the ban has been lifted after the weather conditions returning to normalcy.
Thousands of tourists visiting Manali will be able to enjoy paragliding, river rafting, river crossing and other sports associated to water from today. Given the safety of tourists, these activities were stopped
River rafting in Kullu Manali
between July 15 and September 15 when rivers and streams flow above the normal level and high velocity winds make it risky to fly with paragliders.
“Both paragliding and river rafting are starting officially from Monday. Now the water in rivers has come down to safe level and weather is pleasant for paragliding,” district tourism development officer Ashwani Kumar said. According to him, special teams have been formed to keep sharp watch over all adventure activities.
Administration puts ban on river rafting under River Rafting Act 2005 and paragliding under Himachal Pradesh Aero Sports Rules, 2004. “Steps have been taken for the safety of the tourists. All service providers need to have valid license to operate rafting and paragliding. Many more officials have been empowered to challan the illegal service providers,” Ashwani said.

Flight to Kullu from today
Flight service to Kullu-Manali airport would be resumed from today (Sept 16). Air India is operating its regular flight between Delhi and Kullu from Monday, an official said. The flight will offer one sortie every day, except for Tuesday. People linked with tourism industry are hoping for a boom in business as industry was badly paralyzed by the heavy monsoon.