With the summer season kicking in many escapes the scorching heat in the plains, to the cool environs of Himachal Pradesh. Hospitality industry representatives say the snowy landscape overlooking towns are drawing a large number of holiday-makers from across northern India. The snowy landscape of Rohtang Pass never disappoints visitors. On average, the daily arrival of tourists in Manali is between 20,000 and 30,000, On weekends, the figure goes more than 40,000. The pass, which is still marooned in a thick blanket of snow, was reopened for the tourists on June 1 after six months of closure. The official reports stated only 1,300 vehicles with government permits are allowed to ply across the Rohtang Pass.
Many hotels and guesthouses in the state capital Shimla have been sold out well in advance. But seeing the hordes of tourists, most of the hotels, guesthouses, and lodges across the tourist destinations have doubled their tariffs. Taxi drivers and guides are openly fleecing the tourists by quoting high rates in this peak tourist season, pinching the pockets of tourists. In Manali, for a glimpse of a snowy landscape spread over the Rohtang Pass, you should be ready to shell out an extremely high fare to hire a cab. So it is in tourist spots near Shimla, such as honeymooners’ paradise Kufri where each pony owner is virtually trying to poach you without paying any heed to your refusals. You will end up getting charged an exorbitant fare for a ride across the hilly terrain. The actual fare of a luxury cab is Rs 6,000 while an ordinary one costs Rs 4,000.
Hill destinations like Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Kasauli, Chail, Manali, Dalhousie, Palampur, and Dharamsala are flooded with visitors. According to various reports, there has been an increase of 40-45 percent in the tourist inflow to the state compared to last year. Tourists footfall in the state last year declined to 164.50 lakh, that included 35,6568 foreigners, from 196.02 lakh in 2017, says the state’s Economic Survey 2018-19. The state economy is highly dependent on hydroelectric power, horticulture, and tourism.