Rafters in Kullu district have been hit by decline in tourism due to early arrival of the monsoon. Rafter Jogind Kharval said reports of floods in Kinnaur and neighbouring Uttarakhand had made tourists nervous about holidaying in the district, even though the situation was now normal.
Though rafting was banned in Kullu between June 13 and 18 due to rise in Beas water, the business always flourished in peak tourist months of June and July, he said.
“This time, however, we are facing a tough time as television news channels have scared the tourists away,” he alleged.
Sources said travellers had abruptly cancelled their hotel bookings across Kullu district and Manali town.
Babeli rafter Gimmer Singh said, “More than 80% tourists come here to participate in adventurous sports like rafting. The sudden drop in their arrival has affected the livelihood of 220 rafters in the district.”
Manali hoteliers association president Anup Thakur said Manali was the worst-hit, witnessing 60% decline in tourism.
There are three rafting points at Kullu - Babeli, DevDham and Pirdi.