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WC matches in October, Dharamsala hotels see advance bookings

Hoteliers hopeful of boost to tourism

WC matches in October, Dharamsala hotels see advance bookings


Tribune News Service

Lalit Mohan

Dharamsala, September 16

Hotels in Dharamsala have started receiving bookings in view of the ICC World Cup matches to be held in the city next month. Sources said almost all hotels in Dharamsala have been booked for dates around October 22 and October 28.

Vikas, a hotelier from Dharamsala, said almost all hotels here were packed for October 22 when a match would be played between India and New Zealand. The match is scheduled to be held on Sunday, but people have booked hotels for the weekend. Similarly, there were bookings when a match between Australia and New Zealand was scheduled to be held on October 28, he said.

As per the ICC schedule, World Cup matches would be played at Dharamsala on October 7 (Bangladesh vs Afghanistan), October 10 (England vs Bangladesh), October 15 (South Africa vs qualifier 1), October 22 (India vs New Zealand) and October 28 (Australia vs New Zealand).

Sanjeev Gandhi, general secretary of the Smart City Dharamsala Hotel and Restaurant Association, said, the Dharamsala hotel industry was hopeful that the ICC World Cup matches would give a fillip to tourism in the region.

Those associated with the tourism industry are, however, worried about the declining hotel occupancy in the region these days. Sanjeev Gandhi said, “The region lags in terms of connectivity. The roads leading to this region are in bad shape and air connectivity is costly. On the other hand, the adjoining hill states like Uttarakhand have improved road infrastructure and better air connectivity.”

The present Congress government has laid stress on expanding the Gaggal airport in Kangra district. In case the airport was expanded and airfares came down, it would boost tourism in the region, he said.

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