“Most of our properties in Shimla and Dharamsala tourist circuits have been booked well in advance till August 14,” Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp (HPTDC) general manager Vijay Sharma told IANS.
He said the hotel occupancy rate in Shimla, Kasauli, Chail, Narkanda, Dharamsala, Palampur, Rajgarh and Renuka was almost 100%.
“The only reason for Manali to get fewer bookings this time is the negative publicity by the media regarding frequent landslides on the national highway linking it,” he added.
Many were likely to manage by taking an off or leave for one day on Monday.
Corporate executive Nikita Duggal from Chandigarh said: “The cool environs of the hills are always an added attraction at a time when it is hot and humid in the plains.”
A word of caution though for the holidaymakers.
“Make sure your trip is planned well in advance. Check on general road conditions and confirm whether the roads and high mountain passes are open,” an official said.
Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological department in Shimla, said popular tourist destinations like Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Chail, Kasauli, Manali, Palampur and Dharamsala have been experiencing showers almost every day.
“There are chances of heavy rains at some places in the state till August 15,” he said.
Himachal Pradesh, known for its delicious apples and picture-perfect tourist spots, attracted 18.45 million tourists in 2016, which is 2.7 times its population, says the state’s Economic Survey 2016-17.
According to the report, the state has 2,604 hotels with a bed capacity of 70,869 registered with the Tourism Department. In addition, there are 787 home-stay units with a provision of 2,137 rooms.