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Snow and now tourists keep away from Himachal

Written by: Staff
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Shimla, Mar 23 (UNI) The number of tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh these winters declined by eight per cent in the near absence of snowfall as compared to previous years, tourism sources today said.

Over 71 lakh tourists visited Himachal during January to December last year and Shimla was the most frequented destinations.

The sources, however, added that late snowfall in the higher altitude areas of the state has brought cheers to the Tourism Industry and the number of tourists was now rising in the state.

The decline in the number of tourists visiting the state would be made up during the current season.

The largest number of tourists, about 17.5 lakh, visited Shimla during the year, while Kullu-Manali was the second most preferred destination after Shimla with 16.5 lakh visitors, the sources said.

Dharamshala in Kangra district was the third most visited destinations in Himachal and about 11 lakh tourists visited the town during 2005.

The sources said about 2.10 lakh foreign tourists visited the state during the same period.

According to Sachin Bamba, a hotelier, the number of tourists visiting Shimla has seen a sharp rise during the past few weeks.

''Fresh spell of snow in the higher areas and increase in the chilly conditions here have led to the rise in the number of tourists visiting Shimla,'' he said.

''We hope to make up for the slight losses that we suffered during this winter month now,'' Mr Bamba said.

The State Government, on its part, was also making efforts to provide more facilities to the tourists visiting the state and was spending a sum of Rs 1,000 crore for the beautification of the state capital, the sources added.

UNI AS HS SHB BS1942

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