National

Shimla Records 50-60 Per Cent Occupancy On New Year's Eve, 'Lowest In 40 Years'

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had directed to follow the slogan of 'Atithi Devo Bhava', facilitate the tourists and make adequate arrangements and proper plans in all districts for smooth flow of traffic.

Advertisement

The hotel occupancy in Shimla, Kullu-Manali, Dharamshala, McLeodganj, and Kasauli has almost touched 100 per cent
info_icon

Prediction of weekend snow and the chief minister's directions not to be harsh with drunk revelers on New Year failed to woo tourists to Shimla which recorded 50-60 per cent occupancy, "the lowest in the last 40 years". 

Last year, Shimla had recorded more than 80 per cent occupancy on New Year. The hotel and allied industries were pinning hopes on 'white New Year' but chances of snowfall appear very bleak.  While, the Mall Road and The Ridge in the heart of the city are abuzz with tourists as winter carnival turned the place into a fair with lights and cultural bonanza being organised but tourist footfall has not converted in room occupancy in hotels, said Shimla Hotel and Tourism Stakeholders Association president M K Seth. 

Advertisement

The occupancy is about 50-60 per cent which is the lowest in the last 40 years and even during the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourist rush on New Year was more than this time, he told the PTI.  Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had directed to follow the slogan of 'Atithi Devo Bhava', facilitate the tourists and make adequate arrangements and proper plans in all districts for smooth flow of traffic.

Besides allowing food joints and pan shops to remain open 24x7, he had said that drunk tourists would not be arrested, but would be facilitated by the police to their hotels to ensure that their New Year experience is not spoiled. The unregistered tourism units are eating into the sales of registered hotels, home stays and other such accommodations, said Seth adding that the tourists coming by train and luxury buses are "captured" by touts which take them to unregistered accommodations. 

Advertisement

"We are surprised to see such a drop in tourist inflow when all the things are favourable. This is the lowest occupancy in my living memory" said vice president of the association Prince Kukreja, hoping that the occupancy would pick up by late evening.  A large number of tourists prefer isolated accommodations in the suburbs with forest cover and peace, and tourists planning private parties are also going beyond the city, said local hotelier Shishu, adding that even the hotels in the main town, which are normally packed during this time of the year, are not packed to the capacity.

About 7,600 tourists vehicles from other states have entered Shimla via the Shoghi barrier on the Shimla-Chandigarh Road from Saturday morning (8 am) to Sunday afternoon (12 pm), SP Shimla Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi told PTI on Sunday. The tourism stakeholders added that adverse publicity on social media and some electronic channels regarding traffic jams diverted tourists to other destinations. 

The local Met office had predicted snowfall and rainfall at isolated places in high-and-mid hills on Saturday and Sunday as a fresh Western Disturbance lies over the Himalayan region. However, no snowfall was witnessed in the key tourist resorts.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement