Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, January 8
Rising Covid cases in the adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi has cast a shadow on the tourism industry in Kangra. The industry, which witnessed revival in December and was expecting better business in the next few months, is again facing uncertainty.
Sanjeev Gandhi, general secretary of the Smart city Dharamsala Hotel and Restaurant Association, says that in December the hotel and tourism industry witnessed about 50 per cent occupancy. Weekend tourism, which is the lifeline of the Dharamsala industry, had also picked up. Many employees from the corporate sector visited Dharamsala for hiking at weekends.
However, as the virus cases started increasing and the adjoining states imposed restrictions, there has been a sudden dip in tourist arrivals. “Now, we hope that the third wave of coronavirus passes quickly or else going will be very tough for the tourism industry,” he says.
The hotel industry of Kangra is also sore at the government for not doing enough to promote tourism in the region. District Congress president Ajay Mahajan says that the government has not organised any event to lure tourists to Kangra. While the Winter Carnival was held in Manali, no such event was held in Dharamsala or any other parts of the Kangra region to attract tourists.
Earlier, during the previous Congress government, the summer festival was organised in Dharamsala every year in which Bollywood stars were invited to attract tourists. However, the present government has discontinued the practice of hosting the festival, he laments.
Sources say that about 1 lakh people are directly or indirectly associated with the tourism industry in Kangra.