Shimla: Bright sunny days in the hills of Himachal Pradesh are thawing away the tourists’ plans to usher in the New Year in a snowy landscape.
Members of the hospitality industry here say they are not getting overwhelming response from tourists this year due to dry, snowless weather across the state.
“After a snowless Christmas, it’s now the turn of a ‘warm’ New Year’s Eve,” D.P. Bhatia of Clarke’s Hotel said.
“We are daily getting a number of enquiries regarding possibility of snow on the last day of the year. Some of the tourists definitely opted Kashmir due to snowfall there this season,” Bhatia said.
“Even Shimla’s neighbouring tourist resorts like Kufri and Narkanda have nothing to offer to the tourists. They experienced the first spell of snow in the beginning of this month but it melted within a few hours,” he added.
Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp (HPTDC) general manager Yogesh Behl said Christmas was quite bad for the tourism industry this year. “Now the same weather conditions persist.”
But Behl said the tourism corporation has been luring tourists by talking about the sunny conditions in the hills during winters. “As the sun eludes the residents in the plains due to dense fog, a bright morning in the hills is an attraction.”
Shimla’s meteorological director Manmohan Singh said popular tourist destinations Shimla, Kasauli, Narkanda, Dharamsala, Palampur, Manali, Chamba and Dalhousie have all been experiencing sunny days for over two weeks.
Tourist resort Manali has turned out to be more picturesque and magnetic for holidaymakers owing to plentiful snow in its nearby hills.
Manali experienced a moderate spell of snow Dec 10 but the white flakes melted within a few days.
IANS : Photo – Amit