With the entire country busy in the electoral battle, tourism in Manali is witnessing a slow start even as the plains are already observing scorching heat. Experts believe that tourism may face the brunt of elections as tourists may prefer to stay in their home states to avoid unnecessary problems due to political rallies and clashes.
Majority of tourists in Himachal come from neighbouring states, including Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi. These tourists have maintained a distance from the state for a long time. Hoteliers believe that the peak tourism season would come on track only after May 12 when polling process will come to an end.
“Majority of booking are only after mid May,” hotelier Surender Singh said, adding that most of the honeymooners from mid and southern parts of the country are visiting Manali these days. There are some clients who fear political clashes or unexpected bandhs and are cancelling or postponing their tour plans, he said.
Polling for four seats of Himachal is scheduled for May 7 and very few tourists are interested to visit Manali during this period. “Tourism activities will continue even on the polling day but tourists are scared for no reason,” another hotelier Karamveer Sharma said. “When traffic jams start annoying the public, it means summer tourist season has started. So far traffic is normal and rooms in hotels are easily available,” he added.
Read the full report here, Times of India