Kullu-Manali hoteliers blame government for sharp dip in tourist flow
KULLU – MANALI: The state government’s advisory to tourists against visiting Kullu and Manali after heavy snowfall on December 13 and 14 led to a sharp dip in the number of visitors to the state.Kullu and Manali witnessed a decline of 30-40 per cent in tourist inflow in December while other parts of the state saw a dip of 15-20 per cent as the advisory led to cancellation of bookings, say hoteliers.It was a peak winter tourism season, but it took the authorities more than a week to restore water and power supply in Kullu-Manali. The government did not issue a revised advisory and tourists wanting to come to Himachal had to cancel their plans, said a Shimla hotelier.
About 90 per cent of bookings were cancelled in Manali. Cancellation of flights due to bad weather conditions from December 26 also added to the woes of the tourism industry in Manali as flights operated only on January 1 and 2 and it was again suspended till January 11.He said earlier Manali used to receive six to eight feet of snow but the need to issue such an advisory never arose as local administration was ready to meet any eventually. ~ The Tribune