MANALI: A widespread snowfall has rejuvenated the tourism industry of the state which was witnessing a slump due to dry weather conditions.
Thousands of tourists have made a beeline to Manali these days. Solang, Kothi, Gulaba, Rohtang, Marhi, Hamta and most tourist destinations here have received heavy snow in recent times which will prove beneficial for tourism in coming days. Tourists visiting Manali will get to see snow till summer months.
The snowfall, however, was nominal in lower areas but has worked as a savior for tourism, agriculture, horticulture and drinking water schemes. The higher regions have enough snow in store.
According to hoteliers, less than 20 per cent of their rooms were occupied before snowfall but now they are receiving large number of enquiries from tourists who want to see snow. Hundreds of tourists are thronging Nehru Kund and Solang to enjoy the fresh snow.
Manali Hoteliers Association president Anup Ram Thakur said the weather has turned pleasant after snowfall and tourist inflow is expected to increase in the town. “Good enquiries are pouring in. Hoteliers are happy. Hopefully we will have good crowd till March. We have enough snow at Solang, Gulaba, Hamta and nearby areas where tourists can enjoy till beginning of summer tourist season,” he said.
Anup Thakur added that snowfall continues till March end and they have a whole winter season in hand. He added that hoteliers are praying for heavy snowfall in coming days so that enough snow is stocked.
“We expect good snowfall till mid March. If we get good snow on hills, including Rohtang pass, only then it will last till June and July. Lakhs of tourists visit Himachal only to see snow at Rohtang pass in summers. If February and March pass without snowfall, it will be real matter of concern. But the weather is blessing us with good snowfall this season,” he said.
Following heavy snowfall in Manali on Sunday, many roads are still blocked. The extreme cold on Monday resulted in deposit of ice on the roads which then resulted in slipping of the vehicles. Snow has blocked Kullu-Anni road at Jalori pass and many people are now planning to reach Anni via Karsog in Mandi. However, PWD has pressed its JCB machines into service to clear the snow.