Hoteliers Elated as Tourists Rush to Manali


Hoteliers of Kullu-Manali were elated as room occupancy in hotels surged up to 80 percent for Christmas. A large number of tourists thronged Manali today to celebrate the Christmas festivities. Hoteliers were complaining of a lack of business as there was a sharp decline in the arrival of tourists in Kullu-Manali since March after the Covid-19 outbreak. But with the opening of the Atal tunnel for traffic on the Manali-Leh national highway, the influx of tourists has increased.

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Earlier, room occupancy in Kullu-Manali hotels was merely 30 percent. Many tourists had canceled their hotel room bookings after the imposition of night curfew by the state government in the Kullu district. The hoteliers were apprehensive that their business would take a big hit at Christmas.

Budhi Prakash Thakur, a hotelier in Manali town, said, “I am delighted that room occupancy is 100 percent in my hotel and I am expecting good business even on the New Year as well. The Covid-19 had hit the tourism industry hard since March. The state government should lift the night curfew completely. It should intensify police patrolling during night hours to check offenders if there are any mass gatherings.”

Anup Thakur, president of Hoteliers’ Association Kullu-Manali, told The Tribune, “The influx of tourists for Christmas is beyond expectations here in Kullu-Manali today. The average room occupancy in hotels of Kullu-Manali has gone up to 80 percent, while in many hotels it is 100 percent”. “To avoid the spread of Covid-19 infection, the hoteliers of Kullu-Manali have decided to avoid mass gathering at a single place and asked the visitors to follow the directions strictly as devised by the government”, he added. He said that there is adequate snow at Solang valley and Sissu near Atal tunnel towards Lahaul valley and tourists can have a nice time.

On the other hand, tourists who arrived here in Manali for the Christmas celebration were a little bit disappointed. They were expecting white Christmas which was not the case. A couple hailing from Delhi, Manish Singh, and his wife said that they were expecting white Christmas here in Manali but the weather remained dry.

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