Himachal Pradesh Tourism to promote destination weddings

The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC), which has suffered over Rs 44 crore loss due to Covid, has decided to promote destination weddings at its hotels located in the most idyllic locations.

The HPTDC has zeroed in on its properties like the Palace Hotel, Chail, and its hotels at Barog, Fagu and Narkanda where complete arrangements will be made for destination weddings.

“We have selected our hotels located in the most picturesque settings to suit every pocket with the Chail hotel being the high-end property,” said Amit Kashyap, Director, Tourism, and Managing Director, HPTDC.

He said destination weddings would take place away from the crowded cities and with the numbers being limited, it is the safest and the best option during Covid times, when social-distancing norms are a must. “We will provide a complete package where everything will be taken care of right from arranging a pandit, decoration, catering and other needs so that people just come and enjoy the wedding as a life-time experience,” said Kashyap.

Though the tourist influx during the summer had improved, now, the occupancy in hotels has dipped to barely 20 to 30 per cent.

The HPTDC alone has suffered over Rs 44 crore loss for the financial year 2020-21. The HPTDC has 53 hotels and 17 cafetarias.

The restrictions like a mandatory negative RT-PCR report or vaccination certificates have also proved to be a hindrance in the free flow of tourists. With international flights being restricted, there is practically no foreign tourists, who used to travel to Kinnaur-Lahaul Spiti during August-September.

Officials from the HPTDC have specially been sent to Kolkata to hold talks with travel operators so that the Bengali tourists, who used to visit Himachal during Puja holidays, can be encouraged to visit the hills. Arrangements have been made to pick up tourists from the Chandigarh airport and drive them up to Shimla as part of a package. The HPTDC has an office and staff at Ahmedabad to facilitate the arrival of tourists as Himachal has been a favourite destination with the Gujaratis.

Desperate efforts are being made to somehow get tourists to travel and feel safe at the HPTDC properties, where Covid guidelines and social-distancing norms will be followed.

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