The devastation caused by the floods and landslides has badly hurt the Uttarakhand tourism industry. While the char dham may take years to recover, even places like Mussoorie has been affected by the disaster.
The floods and landslides caused by cloudburst have left over 5000 dead in Uttarakhand while more than 70,000 were stranded. Indian Army has managed to rescue more than 55,000 but still over 15,000 remain stranded.
While the landslides have blocked roads and national highways going towards the char dham, floods have washed up upto kilometer of roads in various areas and several bridges have collapsed. Even the holy shrine of Kedarnath is not unaffected by the floods.
Infrastructure has taken a huge loss in Uttarakhand. Hundreds of hotels and lodges have been destroyed and there is no consolation for the surviving hotels with zero occupancy.
As a result of what is referred as Himalayan Tsunami, Hemkund and Mansarovar yatras have been suspended. Even the char dham yatra is suspended and experts believe that it may only reopen for the tourists after couple of years.
People who make living on the tourism in char dham are going to be badly affected. These people earn enough money in 6 months to make a living for throughout the year. Now they have no idea about what to do. Some are planning migrating to other states and start over again.
However for some people even that is not an option. Even the Disaster Management minister has expressed concerned for the people who make living on the tourism. The char dham yatra may only start after couple of years, what will these people do in the meantime?
Even places like Mussoorie and Nainital that were not affected by the disaster are seeing steep decline in tourists. People fear of being trapped and therefore cancelling their trips.
Hotels in Mussoorie generally see 100 per cent occupancy during this time of the year. But it has dropped to less than 30 per cent due to the fear of nature. Nainital is no different. It is also witnessing similar crisis.
The situation is also bad for tour operators who booked thousands of tours for the next couple of months. They have been flooded with cancellation calls. Looking at the situation in char dham, tour operators are advising tourists to look for alternative destinations.
Even the tourism officials in the state are advising tourists not to visit Uttarakhand. However some hoteliers are upset with such statements and believe that tourism officials should raise awareness that only a certain part of Uttarakhand is not accessible. You can still visit several places in the state.
tags: Uttarakhand Floods, Uttarakhand Tourism, Kedarnath, Landslides, Char Dham Yatra, Mansarovar Yatra, Mussoorie, Nainital