Updated March 17th, 2024 at 20:13 IST

Manali travel agents appeal for early Himachal Pradesh polls

In a letter addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner, the association outlined the detrimental effects of extended campaigning on tourism-related businesses

Reported by: Business Desk
Himachal Pradesh Tourism sector | Image:Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department
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Appeal for early polls: The Himachal Pradesh Travel Agents' Association in Manali has called upon the Election Commission to consider holding the Lok Sabha polls in the state earlier than scheduled, citing concerns about potential business losses due to prolonged political activities.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner, the association outlined the detrimental effects of extended campaigning on tourism-related businesses. They emphasised that continuous political events discourage tourists from visiting the state, leading to significant financial setbacks for hotels, transporters, eateries, travel agencies, and other local businesses.

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The upcoming polls for the four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh, along with polls in six assembly constituencies, are currently slated for the 7th and final phase on June 1. However, the association expressed apprehensions about the clash between the election season and the peak summer tourist season, which typically spans from April to June. They argued that holding elections in June could disrupt tourist influx and result in substantial revenue losses across the tourism industry.

President Budhi Prakash Thakur and General Secretary Suresh Sharma of the association highlighted the challenges posed by uncertainty and disruption caused by prolonged campaigning. They noted tourists' hesitance to make bookings amid concerns about potential travel restrictions, roadblocks, and political rallies, leading to booking cancellations and decreased tourism activity.

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Moreover, the association highlighted the additional hardships faced by the tourism industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic and last year's Monsoon disaster, which have already severely impacted tourism revenues. They urged the Election Commission to take into account the economic interests of businesses and consider rescheduling the election dates to minimize adverse effects on the local economy.

With PTI Inputs

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Published March 17th, 2024 at 20:13 IST