Shillong provides apt alternative to hill tourists

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Shillong, Jul 5 (UNI) With frequent bandhs and disruptions marring the high-altitude hotspots in North Bengal as well as Jammu and Kashmir, tourists throughout the country are now flocking to another less popular but equally breathtaking hill station - Shillong - to chill out this summer vacation.

Several domestic and international tourists who had planned to spend their vacation in the two most sought after destinations during the summer months - Darjeeling and Jammu and Kashmir - are now choosing Meghalaya as their most favoured alternative.

''Despite inflation, we are happy as our business is flourishing with the sudden rise in inflow of tourists,'' A Kharkongor, who sells locally-made handicrafts in downtown police bazaar, said.

''There has been a slight increase in tourists compared to last year. We are expecting more tourists to head towards Meghalaya following disturbances in Darjeeling,'' Centre Point Hotel Owner Larsing Ming said.

''We have decided to spend our vacation in Shillong rather than any other place because it is comparatively much more peaceful,'' Ron Brown, a Scottish tourist, who cancelled his visit to Darjeeling following the bandh, said.

Meanwhile, the state government has taken necessary steps to ensure tourists visiting the state have a pleasant summer vacation.

UNI RRK DPM KLC1154

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