Dharamsala, September 4
Badly hit by the natural disasters in the state, tourism industry in Kangra district is looking for revival during the month of October when five World Cup cricket matches are scheduled to be held in Dharamsala.
Five matches will be played in Dharamsala from October 7. As per the schedule released by the ICC, the matches are: Bangladesh vs Afghanistan (October 7), England vs Bangladesh (October 10), South Africa vs qualifier 1 (October 15), India vs New Zealand (October 22) and Australia and New Zealand (October 28).
Sanjeev Gandhi, general secretary of the Smart City Dharamsala Hotel and Restaurant Association, said that enquires had already been received for hotel bookings for the matches. Advanced bookings have been received for the India- New Zealand match scheduled on October 22. “Dharamsala hotels are likely to be packed for this match. We have also learned that there have been heavy bookings for airline tickets for October 22 and air fares have skyrocketed during this period,” he said.
Naresh Sharma, another hotelier, said that the World Cup matches were definitely going to give a boost to the tourism industry in Kangra region that like other parts of the state had been battered due to the natural disaster in the state in the last two months.
Natural disaster in other parts of the state had brought the tourism industry in Kangra to a naught in the last two months. The hoteliers had been demanding a financial package from the state in terms of waiver in licence fee of bars, property tax and demand charges for electricity. About one lakh people were employed directly and indirectly in the tourism industry in Kangra district. Due to zero bookings in the last two months there have been layoff of employees in hotels and restaurants. Even the hotels of the Himachal Tourism Development Corporation had been hit due to lack of bookings in the last two months.
Chairman of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation RS Bali, when asked, said that tourism was a major industry in the state which gave direct and indirect employment to a large section of people. The government was aware of the challenges being faced by the industry. The government was trying to restore connectivity in all parts of the state. Besides, heliports are being developed in all districts to improve air connectivity. Recently sites for two heliports have been identified. Forest clearance has been received and heliports would be constructed soon.
Apart from the heliports, the CM was pushing the project for the expansion of Gaggal airport, he said, adding that the government would extend all cooperation to the ICC as it would help in revival of tourism in Kangra district.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi says I...
'They lifted us on shoulders'; rescue workers recount first meeting with labourers in Uttarakhand tunnel
41 workers were rescued on Tuesday evening after 17 days of ...
The workers hail Prime Minister Modi, Chief Minister Pushkar...
41 workers were rescued from the collapsed tunnel in Uttarka...
Dravid had replaced former coach Ravi Shastri after the T20 ...