Early rains and Gujjar agitation hit tourism industry in HP

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Shimla, Jun 14 (UNI) Early rains and Gujjar agitation, which disrupted rail and road traffic in several states, especially in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, compelling visitors to change their plans, has hit Himachal's tourism industry adversely.

Most parts of the state had exprienced rain in May and first half of June and with monsoons arriving fifteen days in advance, there is no hope of any recovery during rest of the season.

With the plains also experiencing rains during the period, the temperatures remained below normal following which the tourists preferred to stay back than visit the hill areas.

''Requests for cancellation of booking in private and HPTDC run hotels are continuously pouring in and the occupancy has been reduced to nearly fifty per cent as compared to last year during the summer months,'' said Harman Kukreja, President of local Hoteliers Association.

He said most of the requests for cancellations had come from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra as the tourists coming by trains were reluctant to take the risk.

The hoteliers are offering discount to tourists even during the peak season and inspite of attractive discounts, the occupancy is not full even in hotels run by Himachal Tourism Development Corporation and the target set by Tourism Department to attract 94 lakhs tourists, including four lakh foreign tourists may not be achieved this year.

The summer tourist season coincides with vacations as educational institutions were closed in the plains during the summers and the occupancy falls to 20 to 30 per cent in July.


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