Shimla, April 29
Worried over a dip in hotel occupancy, the Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association has urged the government to publicise places of tourist interest in and around Shimla.
Publicity, virtual tours of places must
Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association president Mohinder Seth says that the dip in hotel occupancy is due to the lack of publicity of places of tourist interest in and around Shimla. “The government must undertake aggressive publicity and virtual tours of places such as the Jakhu ropeway, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Army Museum at Annandale, Naldehra golf course, Hattu Peak, Mashobra Nature Park and Tulip Garden,” he adds.
The hoteliers rue that occupancy in the hotels in the state capital has declined by almost 70 to 80 per cent. “Most of the tourists are using Shimla as a transit point while on their way to Kinnaur,” says Mohinder Seth, president of the association. He adds problems like traffic congestion, paucity of parking place and water shortage deter tourists from coming to Shimla.
He says that as compared to previous years, Shimla has witnessed the lowest hotel occupancy in April, which is worrisome. “The hotel industry is already facing financial hardships for the past three years due to the Covid outbreak and now this decline has made the situation worse,” he laments.
Seth says that major factors that have resulted in the dip in hotel occupancy are the lack of publicity of places of tourist interest in and around Shimla, which have been reduced to a one-night destination. “The government must undertake aggressive publicity and virtual tours of places such as the Jakhu ropeway, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Army Museum at Annandale, Naldehra golf course, Hattu Peak, Government Museum at Chaura Maidan, Mashobra Nature Park and Tulip Garden,” he adds.
The hoteliers suggest that the tourism stakeholders and the Department of Tourism must work jointly to publicise locations to attract tourists.
Another factor being cited for fall in tourist arrivals is restrictions imposed on the entry of buses coming from Gujarat and Maharashtra, which are now going to other states. They say tourists, including those from the neighbouring states, face problems at weekends due to the diversion of traffic towards the bypass from the Tutikandi crossing by the police.
The association says that it is still hopeful of a good season as schools will close in the plains in June but efforts will have to be made to attract tourists. “The Tourism Department must release advertisements in print, electronic and social media platforms, highlighting the places of tourist interest in and around each destination of Himachal so that tourists prolong their stay there,” it adds.