Summer is the peak season to visit Himachal Pradesh a hill station. Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous state with beautiful landscapes and it attracts tourists all over the world. The state has a number of tourists’ attractions like Shimla, Chamba, Dalhousie, Kullu, Manali, Dharamshala etc. Himachal Pradesh has a number of historical temples like Naina Devi Temple, Baijnath Temple, JwalaJi Temple, Manu Temple etc. that are worth visiting.
When tourists visit Himachal Pradesh the area to get relief from the scorching heat of summers, they are cheated by the taxi drivers and hotel owners who charge extra fares. Both foreigners and Indians suffer from this depredation. Some tout admits that they misguide the tourists by saying that the hotels which are available at cheap rates are not safe or are closed due to renovation and prompt them to stay in those inns which are providing a substantial commitment to them.
There are many hill station in Himachal Pradesh like Dharamshala, Palampur, Narkanda, Kasauli, and Kufri which are flooded with visitors in summers. The reports say that there is an increase of 30 to 35% in the tourist influx as compared to last year. Now, the cab drivers are charging three to four times the actual fare. The sub-divisional Magistrate H. R. Bhairwa had blacklisted 70 cabs in two weeks in Manali. He said that he had received complaints against these cab drivers and he would cancel their permits to ply private taxis if they repeat the offense.
Measures were Taken by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp (HPTDC)
General Manager Vijay Sharma of HPTDC said that they charge fixed tariffs throughout the year and they are offering 25% discount on some of the less visited properties this season. The HPTDC has started a special package tour from Manali for tourists. It will take them for one day at Keylong in Lahaul Valley through snow-marooned Rohtang Pass hill station in a deluxe bus.
It is mandatory to halt this plunder as the state’s economy is largely dependent on tourism besides horticulture and hydroelectric power. The state’s economic survey 2016-17 says that the 18.45 million tourists visited Himachal last year which is 2.7% times its population. With such a huge amount of tourist place, it is necessary that there should be proper arrangement of their boarding and lodging by the state itself so to maintain the reputation of the state. The state has 2,604 hotels registered with the tourism department and 787 home-stay units with a facility of 2,137 rooms.
It is advisable for tourists to stay in state-run hotels and Himachal Pradesh Tourism department should keep an eye on hotel fares to have a check on the hotel authorities so that they could not charge more than what is appropriate. There should be proper inspection especially during peak season on taxi fares and hotel tariffs so as to end the erroneous practice of touts who mislead the innocent travelers for their personal benefits. This will not only maintain the goodwill of the state but also help the economic progress.