Flash floods trigger hotel booking cancellations in Himachal Pradesh

Lalit Mohan amp;

Dipender Manta

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala/Kullu, Aug 26

A series of cloudbursts, landslides and flash floods in Himachal Pradesh in recent weeks appear to have taken a toll on the tourism industry as hotels in the Dharamsala-McLeodganj and Kullu-Manali-Lahaul amp; Spiti circuits have reported large-scale cancellation of bookings.

Tourism industry Bears the brunt

  • Hoteliers say tourists were cancelling their Sept bookings
  • They blame negative publicity received due to monsoon mayhem
  • Traffic disruptions on highways due to landslides is another reason

Though the August rains always meant low hotel bookings in the state, these would always pick up towards September, the period when the monsoon weakened. But this time, the September bookings were being cancelled, said a travel agent from Manali. He attributed the trend to the negative publicity that Himachal had received on account of the monsoon mayhem. "Cloudbursts, flash floods and washing away of roads seem to have forced tourists to change their travel plans. The tourism industry, battered by Covid lockdowns earlier, is bearing the brunt again," he said.

Sanjeev Gandhi, general secretary of the Smart City Dharamsala Hotels Association, said the damage caused to the infrastructure in the town had resulted in the cancellation of most of the bookings for September. He said several foreign tourists, especially from Europe and Israel, used to arrive in Dharamsala annually post-monsoon.

Kullu-Manali Paryatan Vikas Mandal president Anup Thakur said the occupancy in Kullu-Manali hotels had fallen below 10 per cent due to the recent flash floods. "Several hotels have zero occupancy. Tourists have been citing the frequent landslides and traffic disruptions on the highway for the cancellations," he said.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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