Tourism Industry in Himachal Pradesh Suffers Due to Unfavorable Weather Conditions

himachal pradesh

The tourism industry in the state has taken a hit due to unfavorable weather conditions, leaving tourism businesses in Shimla, Manali, Kasauli, Dharamshala, and Dalhousie disheartened. Hotel occupancy rates, which ranged from 30 to 40 percent during July and August, have plummeted to as low as 10 percent on weekends.

Current Situation in Himachal Pradesh

Presently, even on weekends, hotel occupancy rates range from 2 to 10 percent. The onslaught of heavy rainfall has severely affected the tourism season in the region. Typically, Himachal Pradesh attracts over 2.5 million tourists during July and August, but this year, the excessive rain has dampened the enthusiasm of mountain enthusiasts.

Impact on Tourism

The period between July 10th and 15th witnessed widespread destruction due to heavy rains, causing havoc for the tourism business in areas like Kullu-Manali and Shimla. The heavy monsoon rains in August worsened the situation, damaging not only the main roads but also the hiking trails in the state.

Challenges in Shimla

During this period, over 70,000 to 80,000 foreign tourists used to visit the state. This time, however, foreign tourists are nearly absent. The extensive destruction caused by incessant rainfall from July to mid-August disrupted the tourism business in Kullu-Manali and Shimla. The subsequent heavy rains in August added to the woes. The state’s major roads, as well as pedestrian routes, have been severely affected.

Tourist Footfall and Challenges

Despite each weekend witnessing a continuous influx of 10,000 to 12,000 tourists to Shimla, the situation has taken a complete turn. Tourists currently coming to the city are largely those with official engagements or business meetings. Himachal Pradesh Tourism Industries Stakeholder President, Mahendra Seth, noted that many people are avoiding sightseeing due to the weather conditions.

Losses for the Tourism Corporation

According to Amit Kashyap, the Director of the State Tourism Corporation, the tourism sector is facing significant losses. The corporation had offered discounts of up to 50 percent for booking rooms in their hotels, but even that couldn’t attract tourists. Occupancy rates in Kullu-Manali have dropped to just one or two percent.

Silence in Kasauli and Beyond

Most hotels in Kasauli, Chail, and Barog are experiencing silence as the number of tourists has plummeted. In Kasauli, around 10,000 tourists used to arrive at the end of each week, but for the past two months, only a negligible number of tourists have visited. Advance bookings for hotels have also dropped to just 10 percent. The President of the Kasauli Hoteliers Association, Rajendra Chopra, stated that the hotel business has come to a complete standstill.

Challenges in Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj

A similar trend is seen in Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj, where occupancy rates have fallen below 5 percent. In July alone, Dharamshala saw just 39,857 tourists. The havoc caused by heavy rainfall has instilled fear in tourists, causing them to reconsider traveling to the mountains.

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