Heavy snowfall in Himachal jeopardizes tourism in Leh

Published on : Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A snow cutter engaged in Manali-Leh highway restoration work near MarhiProlonged snow fall and perilous routes have deterred tourism in Leh of Himachal Pradesh. The snowfall has been record breaking compared to the past four years and the highway that connects Manali with Leh has become extremely treacherous for local tourist vehicles to trail on. The same conditions prevail in Lahaul-Spiti. Tourism is greatly suffering as tourist season starts from the end of June, but going by the conditions of the road, hoteliers are unable to accept booking despite it being peak tourist season.


Tourism is the most important revenue earner for the hoteliers and the local tour operators but heavy snowfall has left tourism dependent industries worried about their prospects as the season approaches.


They are unable to make prior bookings as road conditions are completely unfavorable. These roads are the way to adventure holidays which helps the state to earn more than hundred billion dollars. Many tourists prefer to opt for Manali-Leh road trips and stay in Manali and Lahaul before proceeding to Leh, but the roads which usually allow vehicles from June 15 may take longer to open this year owing to the weather and bad road conditions.

Tourist prefers to stay in Kelong, Jispa or Sarchu for a night while in Ladakh. But poor road conditions had made the situation difficult since last year for the tourism sector but this year’s fall is proving to be worst. Hotels are being forced to cancel a number of bookings and unless the highway opens this season will be a poor one for the tourism sector.


Usually during this season jeep safaris and bike tours are frequent in the Manali-Lah and Manali-Spiti routes. The period between June to September is when tourism flourishes, but this year the plans had to be altered. It is expected that things will get better from July. The Border Roads Organization however claims the work will be done by June 15. They have already restored the Leh to Sarchu Highway.

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