Mussoorie, one of Uttarakhand’s most popular tourist destinations, attracts more than 2 million visitors annually but is hard pressed to get them to stay for long because of the lack of new attractions, say tourism industry experts.
A decade ago, the average time holidaymakers spent in the hill town was four to eight days, but this has dropped to just a couple of days now, the experts said.
The lack of new tourist circuits and destinations is robbing Mussoorie, once a top draw, of its former glory. Hoteliers said the town receives a large number of holidaymakers during the summer and on weekends but the arrivals are low for the rest of the year.
“Tourist arrivals are concentrated only during the summers and on weekends, which means that a majority of hotels have unutilised capacity for 225 to 250 days in a year,” said Sandeep Sahni, president of the hotels and restaurant association of Uttarakhand.
Sahni said the lack of new tourist attractions in and around the town has impacted tourism.
“The development of a Mussoorie circuit would not only help in boosting tourism in the town but also help in boosting tourism in lesser known destinations around Mussoorie,” he said.
Ajay Bhargava, secretary of the Mussoorie hotel association, said: “Earlier, tourists used to stay for a longer duration but now the town is unable to retain them for more than two to three days.”
Earlier, tourists wanted a relaxing holiday but now they want to visit new tourist spots each day, he said.
“We have only a limited number of tourist spots and hence their stay in Mussoorie has been curtailed.”
Dehradun district tourism officer Yogendra Gangwar said the state tourism department is making efforts to develop new tourist circuits.
“In Dehradun district, a tribal circuit with Lakhamandal as its nucleus has been approved while we have proposed to the state government another circuit with Mussoorie as the nucleus,” he said.
Asked about the development of infrastructure at existing tourist spots, Gangwar said: “The proposals for developing Gunhill, Jharipani and Bhatta Falls in Mussoorie and Malsi deer park, Sahastradhara and Robber’s Cave in Dehradun have already been submitted to the Union tourism ministry.”