Shimla, February 2, 2024: The picturesque hill station of Shimla is experiencing a surge in tourist arrivals following recent snowfall, creating a winter wonderland that has enchanted visitors and provided a much-needed boost to local businesses. Tourists from various parts of the country are flocking to witness the snow-covered landscapes, bringing joy to both the visitors and the local hoteliers.
Jeenu, a delighted tourist from Delhi experiencing snowfall for the first time, shared her excitement, saying, “My dream came true. It is a beautiful view around. I am feeling very delighted to see the snow. Everyone should come here and enrich themselves with a new experience.”
The unexpected snowfall has also brought relief to local hoteliers, who had faced a lean summer season due to floods. Bilal Sheikh, a local tourist guide, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We have been waiting for the snowfall for a long time. Be it taxi, hotel, everyone is now hopeful. Tourists have started rushing here. It has been snowing for the last two-three days. There were predictions about more snowfall in the region.”
Hoteliers are already witnessing a surge in reservations, raising hopes for a revival of business after a prolonged dry spell. Naresh Kumar, a local hotelier, expressed optimism about increased tourist footfall in the city. “Tourists have started arriving here. The weather department has forecasted more snowfall during the next two days. So we hope to get more tourists in the region.”
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Western Himalayan Region and select areas of Uttar Pradesh are expected to witness rainfall at one or two locations in the coming days. The Tikkar area of the Nawar valley in Shimla district, as well as the Kharapathar area, have been blanketed in fresh snow, adding to the scenic beauty.
The State tourism department reported that nearly 17,20,000 tourists visited Himachal Pradesh in 2019, including 4,00,000 foreign tourists, marking a nearly 5 percent increase compared to 2018. The tourism sector plays a pivotal role in the state’s economy, generating over Rs 11,000 crore and contributing 7.3 percent to the state GDP. The recent snowfall is expected to further boost tourism and contribute to the economic well-being of the region.