Kullu hoteliers vexed over falling tourist arrivals | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Kullu hoteliers vexed over falling tourist arrivals

With fast flowing rivers, pretty mountain villages, orchards and terraced fields, thick pine forests and snow-flecked ridges, the scenic Kullu valley is fast losing its charm among foreign visitors. Arrivals of high-end tourists have declined sharply, causing great concern for people associated with the tourism industry in the district.

punjab Updated: Mar 09, 2015 19:12 IST
Dipender Manta

With fast flowing rivers, pretty mountain villages, orchards and terraced fields, thick pine forests and snow-flecked ridges, the scenic Kullu valley is fast losing its charm among foreign visitors. Arrivals of high-end tourists have declined sharply, causing great concern for people associated with the tourism industry in the district.The valley extends 80 km north from the mouth of the perilously steep and narrow Larji gorge, near Mandi, to the foot of the Rohtang Pass- gateway to Lahaul & Spiti and Ladakh.


According to available data, the number of foreign tourists visiting Kullu dropped to 24,141 last year from 26,009 in 2013. Hoteliers in the area have blamed the high airfares for travelling to the district as well the inordinate delay in expansion of Kullu's Bhunter airport.

Anup Thakur, who heads the Kullu-Manali hotelier's association, said: “The poor condition of roads within and outside district is causing harm to the tourism industry here, which is lacking proper air services to boost the tourists arrival here but state government failed to do so, due to which tourism industry is hitting hard, which is providing livelihood for hundreds of families in the district. The state government should focus on expansion of Bhunter airport, ensure regular flights there and develop more scenic spots in the area, which could help in reviving tourism.”

Locals say the government has failed to tap the vast tourist potential in the Kullu area by not developing popular destinations like Manikaran, Banjar, Anni and Nagar.

However, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp vice president Vijay Singh Mankotia claimed tourist inflows in state, both foreign and domestic, had significantly risen over the years.

Foreign tourist arrivals
Year Number
2014 24,141
2013 26,009
2012 32,705
2011 32,014
2010 36,928