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HomeTravelTourists rush in as lockdown lifted in Himachal

Tourists rush in as lockdown lifted in Himachal

Entry of 2.57 lakh visitors recorded in Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, McLeodganj, other hill stations

Shimla | TNR

Rooms at most of the popular hill stations in Himachal were either booked or available at a premium as thousands of tourists made a beeline to various cool destinations in the state.

No sooner than the state government announced the lifting of the lockdown restrictions, hill stations in Himachal were flooded with tourists much to the joy of local businessmen, hoteliers and tourism industry folks.

Weekends witnessed the maximum influx of tourists, many of whom were forced to spend a night or two in their cars as rooms were not available.

There are 4600 registered hotels in Himachal and an equal number or maybe more unregistered hotels as well as over 4000 homestays mostly in rural areas. The majority of them recorded a 100 percent occupancy particularly during weekends thereby bringing smiles to the faces of those running these establishments. Residents put up tents at picturesque spots to provide accommodation to tourists.

Apart from Shimla, tourists made a beeline for McLeodganj, Kasauli, Manali, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Kufri, Narkanda, Rohtang and Kinnaur to name a few. Traffic jams at most of these places were a common sight.

Himachal Hotel Association president Mohinder Saith told TNR that business is back on rails with the influx of tourists.  Weekends saw 95 to 100 percent occupancy in hotels and homestays while it was 60 to 70 percent during weekdays, he added.

Manali Hotel Association and Tourism Development Board chief Anup Thakur affirmed that with the travel restrictions lifted, there was a rush of tourists to Himachal. Those engaged in running paragliding activities, taxi operators, and tourist guides were back in business too.

In the past two weeks, nearly 2.57 lakh tourists visited various hill stations in Himachal. Lockdown was lifted in the state from June 14 and tourists had started entering the state from June 13 midnight. From June 13 to June 20, 1.32 lakh tourists visited the state and from June 21 to June 27 visit of 1.25 lakh tourists was recorded.

Law and order issue

Even though a rush of tourists was expected after the lockdown was lifted, the police and other authorities faced a lot of difficulties in managing a smooth flow of vehicular traffic. Maintaining law and order also became a challenge for police with people in “high spirits” engaging in brawls with residents or even with the police.

Covid third wave a threat

With many tourists not adopting covid appropriate behavior there is a threat perception particularly with medical experts already predicting that there would be a third wave of covid infections. 



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