Shimla, May 28
Occupancy in hotels has increased to about 90 per cent in Shimla during the weekend as vacationers are making a beeline to the ‘queen of hills’ to escape the scorching heat.
While the hotel occupancy here went up on Saturday, the summer rush during weekdays is yet to pick up, vice president of Shimla Hotel and Restaurant Association Prince Kukreja told PTI.
The peak summer tourist season starts from April 15 onwards till June 15 in Himachal Pradesh. The summer vacations in the schools in the plain areas also start from May end and a large number of people take to the hills to beat the heat.
The majority of the people are coming on short notice and there is a decline in advance bookings, Kukreja said.
The room occupancy is about 80-90 per cent on weekends but it drops to 30-40 per cent during the weekdays, said M K Seth, president of the Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association.
A total of 1,57,335 vehicles entered and exited Shimla from Shoghi Barrier on Chandigarh-Shimla road since May 22 out of which 30 per cent of vehicles (46,998) moved in and out of Shimla on Friday and Saturday, Shimla Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi said.
Of the total to and fro vehicle movement, about 55-60 per cent entered Shimla, he said.
Seth said the hotels have also witnessed a fall of 30-40 per cent in advance bookings as the vacationers prefer on-the-spot check-in.
He said the accommodations running without permission and under ‘Bed and Breakfast’ (B&B) schemes have become a bane for the hotel industry in Shimla.
The tariffs of registered hotels are fixed by the Tourism Department but the online operators are booking rooms in private flats, homes, bungalows, and villas and misleading the tourists by offering heavy discounts, hitting the hotel industry hard, Seth said.
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