Manali sees spurt in tourist footfall

Manali sees spurt in tourist footfall

Manali is witnessing a heavy influx of tourists since yesterday, courtesy of a long weekend. The number of tourist vehicles reaching Manali has touched the 1,000 count per day, which was around 550 in the corresponding period last year.

Hoteliers said most of the units in Manali were packed to capacity. The occupancy rate was around 80 percent. The tourists were seen in heavy numbers at various tourist spots, especially the Solang Nullah to enjoy the snow.

Atal Tunnel has not yet been opened to the tourists in the wake of snow on the road and avalanche threats near both portals of the tunnel. The tourist vehicles are not allowed to go beyond Palchan.

Hoteliers said the tourism had gained momentum and a heavy rush was witnessed this weekend.

Anup Ram Thakur, president, Manali Hoteliers Association, said such a huge arrival of tourists in January was witnessed for the first time.

He said people were eager to go out of their homes after being bound for a long time due to the Covid outbreak. The daily positive cases too had reduced significantly.

Thakur said the administration and the government should be prepared and make adequate arrangements to facilitate the tourists. The snow was the major attraction for tourists. The administration should arrange snow cutters to ensure their access to snow points.

He said tourist vehicles should also be allowed to go up to Gulaba or the nearest snow point towards the Rohtang Pass. This would provide a livelihood to the locals.

Thakur said the road to the Hamta Pass should be repaired so that tourists could be diverted to other regions, rather than flocking to one area.

Adequate police personnel, equipped with communication facilities, should be deployed to monitor the entire stretch between Manali and Solang Nullah to cope with the traffic issues.

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