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Tourists Pour in Himachal during Monsoon season

Tourists Pour in Himachal during Monsoon season

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 to  guest  occupancies dropping by nearly 25 per cent and revenues of travel and domestic tour operators going down sharply.

Typically the summer  tourist season in the state begins in April and continues through June when the tourists from plain throng the famous hill stations  to enjoy icy  cool and  pleasant  weather  with families as   educations institutions  in metro politans cities are  closed for summer vacations .

. However,   in recent years the state tourism department has extended  the tourist season during monsoon   “when the heavens touch the earth”  to promote  hill state  as an ideal destination for  rain drop season  during magical time of year.  The   north west monsoon casts its spell over land of fruit bowl of India. A  growing number of people, especially domestic tourists, are discovering   absolute delight in   a different, more lush and refreshed hills   to spend  the  holiday vacation by  their heart as nature itself comes alive  with  greenery everywhere during rainy season  in mountain peaks .

In order   to celebrate numerous vibrant monsoon festivals , the state tourism department  has  been trying to attract tourists during this time of the year, calling it `raindrop tourism  by offering   off-season discounts and subsidized packages and the good thing is that one  can enjoy a comfortable state of mind with  a personalised touch to the  vacation by  living close to nature without any outside interference .

All though visiting the tribal areas  during wet spell was the idea initially disagreed by everybody , however the inner ranges of the mountains of Himalayas with  open valleys in tribal areas of lahaulspiti, pangi , bharmour and kinnaur  has become a huge hit during this season .The rain is rarely reported during  monsoon in these areas being  rain shadow areas where atmosphere  decreases with increasing altitude blocking  the passage of rain-producing weather systems, casting a “shadow” of dryness behind them…These areas situated at the   elevations ranging from 13000 ft to 16000 ft above means sea level receives highest numbers of tourists  during monsoon  in the year.These areas have  experienced  seasonal  first  mild snowfall  with  cold winds  sweeping in main towns of valleys  and  the  mean temperature in the lower altitudinal zone varying  from 10 degree centigrade to 20  degree centigrade depending on  altitude. Amidst the grandeur of the mountain peaks, lush valleys, fast flowing rivers, tribal belt  offers her visitors a rare and singular experience during this  season .

The 475 kilo metre long  world highest motroable road Manali –  Leh  national highway is already connected from Lahaul area through rohtang pass (13050 ft height ) and Baralacha-la (16000ft height ) which has opened vistas for adventure tourism  with  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 season  while total 3.82 lakh, 6.01 lakh ,8.25 lakh,  tourisits visited the tribal districts during the year  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 kangra  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 season  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 kangra  registered 5.53 lakh, 5.26 lakh and 3.95 lakh tourists arrival during monsoon season during  the year 2010  told doctor arun Sharma director tourism .He told that state run H P T D C hotels are offering  heavy discounts in all major tourist destinations during the leisure period from 1 st july to 14 th September 2011 and added that various  travel and hotel associations at manali, shimla and dharamshala are also offering discounts to the visitors besides  extensive marketing campaigns in metropolitian cities through   reputed travel agencies

The  tourism department has  set a target to attract total 30 lakh tourists during  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 out  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 1.68  lakh foreign  tourists in the year 2010 and a target has been set up to attract around 2.00  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,  and has launched Home Stay Scheme under which  359 home stay units have been registered till date, where the tourists can experience rural hospitality in natural environment

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