Be it the great deserts of Rajasthan deserts in Jodhpur or the serene beaches of Goa, destination wedding sites exploring quaint scenic locations are a hit among couples today. And now, the hill state of Himachal Pradesh is also opening itself up to become a wedding hotspot by hard-selling the idea of destination wedding tourism in the mountains.
With properties like the majestic, royal Chail Palace – an all-time favourite tourist destination in Solan district - or The Pinewood in Barog, the T-Bud Palampur or The Apple Blossom in Fagu and half a dozen other premium properties, the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) has already rolled out attractive packages for destination weddings.
"The response is really marvellous. I have got queries from several places including Jodhpur. This is a new concept we have decided to introduce at select hotels of the HPTDC. Only those hotels have been chosen which have facilities to accommodate multiple guests and offer requisite facilities under one roof," says Amit Kashyap, MD and Director of HPTDC (Tourism ).
Kashyap, who recently took charge of the HPTDC, admits that Himachal Pradesh and the hotel sector have taken a big blow due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The HPTDC itself has run into losses to the tune of Rs 40 -44 crores.
The situation requires new innovations to revive the tourism sector and also put the HPTDC properties in full business mode.
“Destination wedding as a concept has never been promoted in Himachal Pradesh. We have separate packages for each property offered under the scheme as a destination wedding site. The HPTDC will provide facilities viz decorations, accommodation, services of ‘pandit’, the best catering, proper parking and all arrangements required for an ideal wedding stay,” says Kashyap .
The Tourism department is also making plans to develop and promote Lahaul-Spiti as one of the world's upcoming tourists destination, thanks to the opening of the Rohtang Tunnel at a height of 10,000 feet. The valley earlier used to remain cut off for six months due to snow on Rohtang Pass .
Known for its breathtaking natural beauty and landscapes, majestic mountains and lush forest valleys, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation is located at one of the best spots.
During the Covid lockdown, the tourism industry has almost collapsed with zero arrivals forcing the hoteliers to put up locks at their properties and even have their electricity and water supplies cut. These days the properties are also not very crowded and ready to offer everything under the roof, says Kashyap
Foreign tourist arrivals still remain affected even as the lifting of the Covid restrictions pushed Himachal Pradesh into a new crisis. Overcrowding of tourist destinations like Kullu-Manali, Shimla and Dharamshala for some weeks led to a surge in Covid-19 cases and law and order problems.
“The destination wedding is a very good concept rolled out by the HPTDC. Some private hoteliers have also been offering their properties for destination weddings. It may take some time to popularise the concept but this definitely as a scope ," admits Sanjay Sood, President, Shimla Hotels and Restaurants association .