Wet Monsoon has turned out to be dry for Himachal tourism industry which has forced it to offer discount to attract tourists. Prices of tourism related activities have gone down by whopping 50 per cent in order to revive tourism industry.
The tour operators and hoteliers alike are worried with dry spell caused by the monsoon. Summer is generally the peak season for the tourism but this time around hotels have remained empty even in popular destinations like Manali.
Operation a hotel is no longer profitable in Himachal Pradesh. Several hoteliers have been forced to shut down businesses. Others are offering huge discounts just to remain in business.
Manali is one of the most affected area. Hotels in Manali are offering flat 50 per cent discount just to attract tourists. Early monsoon has been blamed for the misfortune of tourism industry.
Besides the devastation in Uttarakhand has put off tourists from visiting hill stations. There was even fake news of landslides in Manali that lead to cancellations and phone calls from the nervous tourists.
Hotels are not the only business facing the heat. Taxis, luxury buses, hiking, camping etc have also cut down the prices to remain in business. Unlike hoteliers in Manali, not everyone blames early monsoon and Uttarakhand floods for the bleak tourist season.
According to Manoj Sharma who is member of taxi union, the main reason why we are lagging behind is lack of advertisement by the state government. States like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are spending crores in tourism advertisements. It is paying dividends for them.
While on the other hand, our government is doing nothing. We are facing stiff competition especially from Kashmir valley but there has been no big push by the state government to boost the tourism.
Anil Mehta who runs a hotel in Manali agreed with the views of Major Sharma and said that there are rumors of floods and landslides in Manali. What has government done to calm these fears? This is the time for government to come out and state the facts, but it is sleeping.
An official from Himachal Pradesh tourism cited lack of funds to give a big push. One officer said that we do not have kind of funds that Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh government is giving to tourism department. We are doing our best with the limited funds we have received.