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Ahead of New Year, massive traffic jam stuck Manali as people throng to hilly areas to enjoy snowfall

Members of the hospitality industry said that most of the hotels across the state have been seeing close to 95 per cent occupancy.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: December 31, 2022 12:22 IST
Highest-ever arrival of tourists in Himachal to ring in New
Image Source : @ANI/TWITTER/IANS Highest-ever arrival of tourists in Himachal to ring in New Year

New Year celebrations: A large number of tourists are rushing to the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh's Manali, resulting in massive roadblocks on Saturday. Although the arrival of tourists started on December 24, a day before Christmas, thousands of vehicles entered the district to enjoy the new year and snowfall.  According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), six districts of the state will witness snowfall in the coming days. 

Why Manali is witnessing a massive tourist footfall?

It is worth mentioning the district is located at a high altitude and is called a "Himalayan resort town". It has a reputation as a backpacking centre and honeymoon destination. Besides, people also reach here to ski in the Solang Valley and trek in Parvati Valley. It's also a jumping-off point for paragliding, rafting and mountaineering in the Pir Panjal mountains, home to the 4,000m-high Rohtang Pass. According to media reports, this year, Manali registered the highest-ever footfall ahead of the new year. 

Earlier, during the winter season, fewer tourists used to throng the district due to the blockade of roads. However, after the inauguration of the two-lane Atal Tunnel by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it has shortened the distance between Manali and Keylong, the headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti, by 46 km, reducing the travel time by nearly three hours. It has ensured all-weather connectivity too.

According to the state tourism department, more than 20,000 tourists travel through the Atal Tunnel every day during the peak tourist season and tourism, including skiing, trekking and paragliding, is a key source of income for the local people.

All hotels are booked

Members of the hospitality industry told IANS that most of the hotels across the state have been seeing close to 95 per cent occupancy. An official with the state tourism department advises tourists to get an advance booking of a hotel or a homestay unit before travelling.

By the evening of December 31, he said, the occupancy could reach 100 per cent, a record business after the two toughest years ever seen by the travel industry. "We are expecting to see a good business this weekend and next week also seeing the influx of the tourist arrival and the booking enquiries we are getting," Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) Manager Nand Lal, who is posted in Holiday Home hotel here, told the news agency.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: New Year 2023: Himachal Pradesh witnesses highest ever arrival of tourists amid snowfall | DETAILS

 

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