New Delhi: Monsoon season is traditionally lean period for the tourism industry in Himachal Pradesh and a time when hotels even lay off staff due toÂ Â guestÂ Â occupancies dropping by nearly 25 per cent and revenues of travel and domestic tour operators going down sharply.
Typically the summerÂ Â tourist season in the state begins in April and continues through June when the tourists from plain throng the famous hill stationsÂ Â to enjoy icyÂ Â cool and Â pleasantÂ weatherÂ Â with families asÂ Â Â educations institutionsÂ Â in metro politans cities areÂ Â closed for summer vacations .
. However,Â Â Â in recent years the state tourism departmentÂ has extendedÂ Â the tourist season during monsoonÂ Â Â “when the heavens touch the earthâ€Â Â toÂ promoteÂ Â hill stateÂ Â as an ideal destination forÂ Â rain drop seasonÂ Â during magical time of year.Â Â TheÂ Â Â north west monsoon casts its spell over land of fruit bowl of India.Â AÂ Â growing number of people, especially domestic tourists, are discoveringÂ Â Â absolute delight inÂ Â Â a different, more lush and refreshed hillsÂ Â Â to spendÂ Â theÂ Â holiday vacation byÂ Â their heart as nature itself comes aliveÂ Â withÂ Â greenery everywhereÂ during rainy seasonÂ Â in mountain peaks .
In orderÂ Â Â to celebrate numerous vibrant monsoon festivalsÂ , the state tourism departmentÂ Â hasÂ Â been trying to attract tourists during this time of the year, calling it `raindrop tourismÂ Â by offeringÂ Â Â off-season discountsÂ and subsidized packages and the good thing is that oneÂ Â can enjoy a comfortable state of mind withÂ Â a personalised touch to theÂ Â vacation byÂ Â living close to nature without any outside interference .
All though visiting the tribal areasÂ Â during wet spell was the idea initially disagreed by everybody , however theÂ inner ranges of the mountains of Himalayas withÂ Â open valleys in tribal areas of lahaulspiti, pangi , bharmour and kinnaurÂ Â has become a huge hit during this season .The rain is rarely reported duringÂ Â monsoon in these areas beingÂ Â rain shadow areas where atmosphereÂ Â decreases with increasing altitudeÂ blockingÂ Â the passage of rain-producing weather systems, casting a “shadow” of dryness behind them…These areas situated at theÂ Â Â elevations ranging from 13000 ft to 16000 ft above means sea level receives highest numbers of touristsÂ Â during monsoonÂ Â in the year.These areas haveÂ Â experiencedÂ Â seasonalÂ Â f
The 475 kilo metre longÂ Â world highest motroable road Manali –Â Â LehÂ Â national highway is already connected from Lahaul area through rohtang passÂ (13050 ft height ) and Baralacha-laÂ (16000ft height ) which has opened vistas for adventure tourismÂ Â withÂ Â foreign tourists preferring tented accommodations in natural sojourn and explore the mountain peak through various trekking routes .The tribal districts of lahaual spiti and kinnaur registered around 2 lakh tourists during the year 2010 as against 1.75 lakh tourists in the year 2009 and 1.15 lakh tourists during the year 2009 during monsoon seasonÂ Â while total 3.82 lakh, 6.01 lakh ,8.25 lakh, Â tourisits visited the tribal districts during the yearÂ Â 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively .The data shows that around 25 % of the total tourists visit the tribal districts during monsoon season
The shimla , kullu and kangraÂ Â districts registered the highest number of tourists in the year 2008 with 4.96 lakh ,3.81lakh and 3.36 lakh tourists visiting these districts during the monsoon seasonÂ Â while shimla , kullu and kangra registered around 5.3 lakhs , 5.6 lakhs and 3.60 lakh tourists during the year 2009. While the kullu , shimla and kangraÂ Â registered 5.53 lakh, 5.26 lakh and 3.95 lakh tourists arrival during monsoon season duringÂ Â the year 2010Â Â told doctor arun Sharma director tourism .He told that state run H P T D C hotels are offeringÂ Â heavy discounts in all major tourist destinations during the leisure period from 1 st july to 14 th September 2011 and added that variousÂ Â travel and hotel associations at manali, shimla and dharamshala are also offering discounts to the visitors besidesÂ Â extensive marketing campaigns in metropolitian cities throughÂ Â Â reputed travel agencies
TheÂ Â tourism department hasÂ Â set a target to attract total 30 lakh tourists duringÂ Â this monsoon season while around 28 lakhs tourists visited the state during last year . Around 22 lakhs tourists visited the state during monsoon in the year 2008 which increased to 26 lakh tourists during the year 2009.said Dr Arun Sharma Director Tourism .He told that outÂ Â of it 1.45 lakh foreign tourists visited the state in the year 2008 which increased to 1.61 lakh tourists in the year 2009 and 1.68Â Â lakh foreignÂ Â tourists in the year 2010 and a target has been set up to attract around 2.00Â Â lakh foreign tourists during this monsoon season .
Director tourism Dr Arun Sharma told that in order to promote the village tourism, the department has identified one village in each District of the Pradesh. To divert the tourist flow from urban to rural area,Â Â and has launched Home Stay Scheme under whichÂ Â 359 home stay units have been registered till date, where the tourists can experience rural hospitality in natural environment