Dry spell hits HP’s tourism, hospitality industry 

 Ays News

 January 21.1.2024 IST

 To the locals, the barren look of the majestic mountain range, normally draped in white at this time of the year, is unprecedented and has become a cause of concern to those affiliated with the tourism and hospitality industry

 On a sunny day at Dharamsala, the mighty Dhauladhar mountain range overlooking the popular tourist destination paints a grim picture with no snow cover this winter as a prolonged dry spell continues in Himachal.

 In Shimla and Kullu-Manali, the hotel occupancy is around 20%, a stark dip from 40 to 60% in December last year. The tourism sector of Himachal contributes 7% to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Because of the dry weather and lack of snowfall, the hotel occupancy in Dharamsala has dipped to around 10%. The case is no different at other stations. The hoteliers in Dharamsala say the occupancy used to be around 40% - 50% at this time of the year as people would come to enjoy the views of the Dhauladhar range.

 Hotel Association of Dharamshala president Ashwani Bamba that the hotels in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj bear a grim look, not much different from the Dhauladhar range

 The hotels are witnessing a significant drop in occupancy. During January, hotel occupancy used to be around 50% on weekends and around 30% on weekdays,” said Bamba.

 The tourism industry in Himachal has been in the doldrums for the last three years. The pandemic adversely impacted the tourism Industry and when it was gradually recouping, heavy rains in August last year triggered floods, causing massive damage to road infrastructure. It resulted in a dip in tourist influx.