As norms relaxed, tourists start trickling into Manali

Hoteliers hope footfall will rise during Dasehra holidays

As norms relaxed, tourists start trickling into Manali

Tourists enjoy a stroll on the Mall Road in Manali on Sunday.

Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, September 20

The arrival of tourists has begun in Manali after the relaxation of Covid guidelines. Various tourist spots in the vicinity of Manali have also started witnessing an influx of tourists.

Budhi Prakash Thakur, state convener of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Himachal Pradesh, said even though he could just have one or two visitors so far, he was relieved that tourism was gaining pace. He said visitors from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi had already started visiting Manali and the footfall was likely to rise during the Dasehra holidays. He appealed to the government to restart the intrastate movement of Volvo and luxury buses, which were the backbone of the tourism industry in the state. “In the present situation, it is difficult to meet even the overhead costs. The government should provide relief to the people associated with the tourism industry till the situation improves,” said Thakur.

Anup Ram Thakur, Kullu-Manali Hoteliers’ Association president, said an executive meeting was held yesterday, in which representatives urged the government to revive the requirement of Covid-negative report for entry into the state. He said the rapid antigen test could be conducted at the district borders and infected tourists should be sent to hospital.

Anup said the present standard operating procedures of the government for hoteliers were feasible for bigger hotels, but these must be altered for smaller tourism units. He said there should be a dedicated Covid care centre in Manali and the Civil Hospital should be equipped with an ICMR-approved lab to carry out the rapid antigen test. The government should make arrangements for the isolation of Covid-positive persons on the premises of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali, which was located at a secluded place and was spacious enough to accommodate a large number of people.

Raman Gharsangi, Manali SDM, said the influx of tourists had started in the state. He appealed to the people of Manali to take precautions in view of the Covid situation and follow the guidelines issued by the government.

Demand for Covid test at district borders

Anup Ram Thakur, Kullu-Manali Hoteliers' Association president, said an executive meeting was held on Saturday, in which representatives urged the government to revive the requirement of Covid-negative report for entry into the state. He said the rapid antigen test could be conducted at the district borders and infected tourists should be sent to hospital.

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