Very few advance hotel booking for the summer tourist season is worrying hoteliers in Himachal who believe continuing IPL matches and upcoming Lok Sabha elections will put their impact on the tourism till May 23.
Peak summer tourist season in Himachal begins in mid-April and lasts till June end. As most hotels remain fully occupied during this duration, most of the tourists prefer booking hotels in advance. This year most of the hotels are complaining about very less booking.
Hoteliers think this could be the impact of IPL matches and elections which can continue to affect their business until May 23 when the result of the election will be announced.
A hotelier Ludar Chand said he is receiving very less advance booking if compared with last year. “90 percent of our clients come via online booking. Summer season is starting next month but there is almost no booking. Cricket matches put a negative impact on tourism as crores of people like to stay stick to the TV screens. Our booking agents say booking will remain little slow during elections as well,” he said.
Another hotelier Surender Maheshwari said Lok Sabha election being the largest festival of the country and more and more people taking interest in politics is the reason people may choose elections over tourism.
“This is the condition of almost all hoteliers in Himachal. Very few inquiries are pouring in. We get two and a half months to earn money. We hope June will bring us good business.”
Hotels in Manali do a brisk business in the summer season when tourists head to hills to escape from the scorching heat of the plains. The hoteliers have to earn expenses for the whole year from business in a limited time period. Hoteliers earlier believed that tension in Kashmir will divert tourists to Himachal but negative booking trends are giving them tension.
Manali has received good snow this year. Availability of snow at Rohtang pass put its impact on tourism of the entire state. This year, tourists will get to see snow in the entire summer season. Hoteliers still believe that a record number of tourists will visit the state, especially in June.