NATIONAL

Hotspots in Himachal Pradesh suffer as visitors flock to J&K

The tourism business in the state has suffered a significant blow with the opening of the Jammu and Kashmir circuit to both local and international visitors.

There was a notable decrease in the number of visitors visiting the state this year as a consequence of travel agencies in major cities making bulk reservations for Kashmir due to the J&K government’s various incentives offered to hotels and transportation companies.

Even though it’s tourist season here, most of the state’s popular tourist destinations don’t appear to be as active as they were a few years ago.

Since the tourist sector is a significant source of income and foreign money, it has the potential to boost governmental coffers. The state has not been able to develop prospective tourist destinations because of the indifference of previous administrations. In the majority of tourist destinations, the administration has likewise failed to expand city boundaries.

Better visitor facilities are on the way, according to repeated announcements from the state administration. But in this aspect, nothing has been done.

“Corrupt” traffic police officers, protracted gridlock, pricey lodgings, and subpar parking facilities seem to be welcoming to tourists visiting the state these days. The reputation of this culturally rich state is further damaged in the eyes of visitors by winding, narrow, and uneven roads; hefty airfare; pricey meals; and taxi operators who prey on unsuspecting passengers.

State hotel taxes are much higher than those of other states. Regarding transportation, the state’s taxi industry has not been metered by the government. The state administration has often said that it is developing a “master plan” for the growth of tourism. Plans and pledges, nevertheless, seem to be limited to paper.

With its rich biodiversity and historical significance, Himachal Pradesh presents a wonderful opportunity for local and international tourism. Unfortunately, owing to a “lack” of administrative and political will, not much has been done in the last 10 years to use the potential, leaving it mostly unrealized.

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