India vs England test a breather for Dharamshala’s struggling tourism industry - Hindustan Times
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India vs England test a breather for Dharamshala’s struggling tourism industry

By, Dharamshala
Mar 06, 2024 05:28 AM IST

The hotel occupancy is likely to shoot up with an increase in tourists expected during the match days from March 7 to 11

The tourism and hospitality industry that was struggling with low footfall during the winter season anticipates a boost as India and England are scheduled to play the ongoing series’ fifth and final test match at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium in Dharamshala.

India players during a practice session ahead of the fifth match against England at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala on Tuesday. (REUTERS)
India players during a practice session ahead of the fifth match against England at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala on Tuesday. (REUTERS)

The hotel occupancy is likely to shoot up with an increase in tourists expected during the match days from March 7 to 11. Hoteliers say that the cricket lovers from different parts of the country have started booking rooms and they are flooded with enquiries. While some hotels are already sold out, the occupancy is expected to cross 60% during the match days.

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Because of the lack of snowfall in January, the hotel occupancy in Dharamsala has dipped to around 10%. The case is no different at other stations.

Hotel Association of Dharamshala president Ashwani Bamba said, “Excitement is palpable for the match and is evidenced by the surge in enquiries and hotel bookings as the game draws near. Bookings are on the rise, particularly in the areas closer to the stadium in lower Dharamshala.”

Bamba said that in upper Dharamshala, however, bookings are comparatively lower as visitors prefer to stay close to the stadium.

The tourism industry in Himachal has been in the doldrums for the last three years. The pandemic adversely impacted tourism and when the industry was recouping, heavy rains in July and August last year triggered floods, causing massive damage to road infrastructure. It resulted in a dip in tourist influx.

Similarly, the travel and tour businesses that were adversely hit during this winter were also expecting to gain from the upcoming test match.

However, in Dharamshala, the hoteliers expect that the upcoming matches will boost tourism. Hotel and Restaurant Association Dharamshala general secretary Vivek Mahajan said that there was high demand for hotel rooms near the stadium. Mahajan said that he anticipates increased footfall in McLeodganj area during the weekend.

“We are optimistic that this will mark a promising start for the tourism season, especially with the upcoming IPL matches scheduled here,” Mahajan said.

The teams have arrived at Dharamshala on Sunday. India lead the series 3-1.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Dar Ovais is the Dharamshala-based correspondent in the Himachal Pradesh bureau of Hindustan Times. He covers politics, tourism, Tibetan affairs and environmental issues.

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