A day after tourist resorts of Shimla and Manali received season’s first snow, tourists from neighbouring states have made a beeline for Himachal to enjoy the snow.
Tourists thronged Solang, Kufri and other tourist places which received a good amount of snow on Monday. After three days of inclement weather, it was sunny day on Tuesday. Tourist places were witnessing crowd from the early morning till late evening. Most of the tourists are from Delhi, UP, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
A tourist from Delhi Jatin Ahuja said, “We headed to Manali after hearing about snowfall on Monday morning. I and my wife wanted to see snowfall but we were a little late. However, we enjoyed in snow near Manali. Covid-19 being the main hurdle, we preferred driving our own car. The weather on Tuesday was amazing and we spent almost half day at Solang. We wanted to visit Atal tunnel but the road was blocked,” he said.
Tourists were not being allowed to go to the higher regions as most of the roads have become slippery. Many tourists attempted to go towards Atal tunnel but could not reach due to icing of the road surface. Buses plying on Manali-Keylong route had to return back from south portal of the tunnel where road was extremely slippery. The highway even saw traffic jam for some time.
Shimla also saw good number of tourists coming from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tourists headed to the upper Shimla to see snow. Dalhousie and Dharamshala are also expecting little rise in footfall in the next few days.
Suffering huge losses since March due to Covid-19, hoteliers are expecting little surge in tourist inflow following the snowfall.
“This year has been a black year for all businesses but tourism industry is worse affected. Tourists are hesitating in travelling to other states. We are still hopeful that tourist footfall will increase in the winter months. Tourists will definitely visit Himachal to see snow and snowfall,” Manali Hoteliers Association president Anup Thakur said.
Hoteliers said nearly half of the tourists who want to visit Himachal are cancelling their tour due to non-availability of bus service from other states and extremely high airfare to Kullu airport. Tourists from neighbouring states are either visiting in their private cars or are hiring personal taxis.