HPTDC to hold week-long food fest as tourists begin to pour

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Shimla, Apr 23 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) will be organising a week-long food festival from May one here, as tourists have begun thronging the various hill resorts following steady rise in temperature in the plains.

The capital town, has a slight edge over the world-famous tourist resort, Manali, drawing maximum crowd of foreign and domestic tourists in the state.

As almost all hotels in Shimla have already been booked in advance, the tourists planning to visit the 'Queen of hills' during this summer certainly need to reconsider, if they planned to come without advance booking.

''We have occupancy over 60 per cent at present and this is expected to touch 100 per cent in the coming week of May. We are getting bookings from across the country majority of which came from the metropolitan cities,'' revealed R.C Gupta, General Manager, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC).

''We plan to organise food festival in Shimla and other tourist locations, especially for pleasure of tourists. This year the seven-day long food festival will start from May 1 and the 'Kashmiri' cuisine would be available for visitors to savour at Hotel Holiday Home,'' he added.

The private hotels across the town are also witnessing packed houses with over 80 per cent advance bookings.

''Occupancy in all the hotels in Shimla is nearing capacity and tourists planning to come to Shimla should finalise their programme after ensuring advance booking,'' advised member of Himachal Hotel Association.

Amid its regal heritage of British era and the paranormal scenic beauty, Shimla remains the most sought after tourist destination for both domestic and foreign tourists.

''Shimla has an edge over other tourist destinations in the state due to its proximity to the plains. On an average, the tourist influx in Shimla over last ten years has consistently increased by around 11 eleven per cent, which reveals the fact that attraction of tourists towards Shimla is ever increasing,'' said a Tourism official.

UNI XC AS JN BK1739

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