Himachal records 16 percent increase in tourists


Shimla : As many as 13 million tourists visited the hills of Himachal Pradesh last year as compared to 11 million in 2009, registering an increase of over 16 percent in a year, said a state tourism survey.

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The 2010 arrival number was 16.38 percent higher than 2009 and 25 percent up from 2008.

Similarly, the number of foreign tourists increased from 400,583 in 2009 to 454,851 in 2010, registering an increase of 54,268 or over 13 percent in a year.

In 2010, the state saw maximum number of visitors in the month of June.

“As many as 1,703,757, including 47,735 foreigners, visited the state in June, 2010, while the second highest tourist arrival (1,486,074) was in May. The peak winter in December got 713,890 tourists, including 19,462 foreigners,” Tourism Director Arun Sharma told IANS.

In all, 3,903,721 out of the total 13,298,748 tourists in 2010 visited the state during the months of May, June and December.

Similarly, 3,350,187 tourists visited the state during these three months in 2009 and June got the highest share.

“The survey proves that the hills are not only frequented by tourists during the summer but also during peak winter,” the official added.

Most foreign visitors came from the US, Britain, Canada and Australia.

Regarding popular hill stations, the survey says locations in Kullu, Kangra and Shimla districts remained the favourite as about 50 percent of the tourists headed to these places. The famous hill stations like Shimla, Manali, Dharamsala, Dalhousie and Kasauli were preferred among both Indian and foreigners.

Tourism is an important contributor to Himachal Pradesh’s economic development, besides horticulture and hydro-power generation.