Manali cheers tourist crowd with 90% occupied hotels
MANALI: With tourists wandering hotel to hotel in search of
rooms and most of the tourists not being able to get cabs for sightseeing,
Manali town has come to standstill with unexpected high rush of tourists these
days.
Tourists having fun in snow at Rohtang Pass in Manali
Last weekend,
Manali saw the record increase in arrival of tourists with over 2,000
non-Himachal registered vehicles, including Volvo and buses entering town every
day. Demand for local cabs is extremely high and more than the capacity of the
town. Hundreds of tourists who are visiting without advance booking are facing
problems in finding the rooms as most of the hotels have already been sold out
for next two weeks. Tourists are spending hours only to find a room and many of
them are travelling up to 30km outside the town to maximize possibility to find
empty rooms.
“We knocked at
every hotel reception located in middle of the town on Sunday evening but could
not find a room. Finally had to drive back for 10km towards Kullu and booked a
guest house,” a tourist from Patiala, Vinod Sharma, said, who spend whole day
in town as cab was not available to Rohtang pass. “I spoke to dozens of travel agents and local taxi union but could not get a taxi. Everybody was replying
that all taxis have already been hired,” he said.
According to
sources, over ten thousand tourists are entering Manali town everyday that
generally stay here for four to five days. Manali has nearly 2.5 thousand cabs
which are not able to meet the demand. Hotels in Manali have capacity of nearly
30 thousand beds which get choked in peak summer season. Similar is the
condition of highways and streets where no space is left to park even a bike. Sources
said Manali saw all time high tourists on Saturday and Sunday. Rising
temperature in plains is being attributed for this unexpected tourist flow.
Despite boom in
tourism, hoteliers are not happy due to weak infrastructure and traffic
management in Manali. “Hotel occupancy has reached 90 percent which has brought
cheers among all tourism entrepreneurs here. But tourists are not happy with
the facilities that they expect from us. Hour-long traffic jams, narrow roads
and non-availability of quality food and toilets on Rohtang area is annoying
the tourists,” Manali hoteliers’ association president Anup Thakur said. We are
happy to see the tourist crowd but if the infrastructure of Manali is not
improved, it would leave its negative impact later, he said.

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The Himalayan

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