If you are the lucky one to plan a holiday during recession time then be prepared to shell out a hefty amount during this New Year season in Himachal. The packages, floated for the Christmas-New Year period will make you wonder – Where is the recession? A case in point is the packages being offered by the state run, HPTDC. Prices at The Palace at Chail will make your hair rise once you go through the list. The lowly priced Loghut Regular available for Rs. 1300 round the year costs Rs. 8,600 for the 31st night! This works out to a 660% hike on the original rent. The prices for the other rooms can give you some real heart attack.
At Holiday Home, Shimla the base category room for Rs. 1700 is priced at Rs. 6250, a ‘mere’ 367% hike. Similarly at Manali, the HPTDC packages are hiked by 250% at The Kunzum, 218% at Loghuts and 242% at Manalsu hotel. The packages work out mostly with dinner and breakfast and a Gala Night. Nowhere it is mentioned what does Gala Night mean? What ever information is available on HPTDC website, it sounds more of a ‘Gala’ rip off for the tourists!
So where does this leave an average tourist planning to travel with his family during the New Year period? No Where! The prices mentioned above are for base category rooms everywhere and only for two persons. If there are children along, one will have to shell out an additional Rs. 1500 – 4000 depending upon the accommodation booked.
With such exhorbant prices and an adverse traveling scenario in the country, HPTDC hotels risk slump in occupancy during the season. Private hotels too have gone a step ahead and their packages are even more expensively priced. There certainly is a mismatch between the demand and supply this year with supply outstripping the demand. Even hoteliers privately acknowledge they are not too hopeful for a sold out situation this season. New Year eve falls on Wednesday and that takes away half the fun of holidaying. An early snowfall around Christmas though can revive the chances of better occupancy for the hoteliers. The best option for the tourists would be to delay their travel bookings by third week of December and wait for the likely fall in prices.
Cross posted on Himvani