With arrival of monsoon, tourist influx declines in Kullu, Manali


With the onset of the monsoon in the state, a noticeable decline in tourist arrivals has been observed in Kullu-Manali, marking a significant drop in the region’s bustling hospitality sector.

Hotels, usually abuzz with vacationers and adventurers during peak summer months, are now grappling with dwindling occupancy rates, which have plunged to nearly 30 per cent.

The allure of Kullu-Manali, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, adventurous activities and vibrant local culture, typically attracts tourists in big numbers in the summer. However, with the arrival of the monsoon, the dynamics shift dramatically. The weather becomes unpredictable, with intermittent showers and occasional landslides, posing challenges to travel and outdoor activities. These conditions deter many prospective visitors from visiting the region, leading to a sharp decline in their footfall.

Local hoteliers and tour operators, who eagerly anticipate the peak season each year, are now facing a stark reality. The once bustling streets and crowded markets of Kullu-Manali are now wearing a deserted look. Businesses that thrive on tourism, such as restaurants, souvenir shops, and adventure sports operators, are experiencing a slump in their income.

“We usually witness a surge in bookings from April to June. But in July, the number of bookings comes down noticeably,” said Hem Raj Sharma, a hotel owner in Manali. “The monsoon brings its own charm to the hills, but it also decreases the number of tourists,” he added.

“The decline in tourist influx has broader economic implications for the region. Kullu-Manali heavily relies on tourism as a primary source of revenue and livelihood for its residents. The seasonal nature of tourism here means that businesses must maximise earnings during the peak season to sustain themselves through the quieter months,” said Anup Thakur, president, Kullu-Manali Prayatan Vikas Mandal.

The authorities are also focusing on infrastructure development and safety measures to mitigate the impact of monsoon-related challenges. Road maintenance and disaster management strategies are being reinforced to ensure the safety of both residents and visitors.