Extended weekend sees rush of tourists in Mussoorie
A large number of tourists have arrived in Mussoorie to spend the extended weekend and brought rare cheer to the tourist industry of the hill town that has been among the worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The easing of the Covid-19-related restrictions on tourism activities has encouraged travellers. Hoteliers said they were expecting a further improvement in the arrivals after almost no business for six months.
Sanjay Agarwal, the general secretary of Mussoorie Hotel Association, said the hoteliers have been facing immense hardships since March end when the Covid-19 lockdown was implemented. “Now after the restrictions have been eased, we are getting bookings and queries from tourists for one week which is a good sign.”
Agarwal said all the hotels in Mussoorie have got about 80% bookings. “All the hotels catering to the customers are strictly adhering to the Covid-19 guidelines.”
Sunita, a roadside roasted corn seller, said, “We have been facing difficulties because of losses to livelihood during the lockdown. But now this return of tourists has given us hope.”
A bulk of the tourists have come from Delhi and the neighbouring areas. Shivani Madaan, a tourist from Greater Kailash in New Delhi, said, “We have been stuck in our flats for four months. Hence we decided to visit Mussoorie for a welcome change for our kids.”
Another tourist, Ananda Das from Noida, said, “We are happy to get out of our homes and find some freedom in the hills. But at the same time, we are also cautious amid the pandemic.”
Manoj Rawat, a local police officer, said at least 152 people have been fined for not using masks since Friday. “Police are strictly ensuring adherence to the Covid-19 precautions amid smooth tourism activities.”
Rawat said additional police patrols have been deployed at major tourist spots to ensure smooth movement of the traffic in the town.