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Floods scaring away tourists from Himachal

The negative propaganda over the recent floods in Himachal Pradesh has affected the tourism industry and over 50 percent bookings have been cancelled, Shimla Municipal Corporation Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar said Sunday.

In a letter to CM Virbhadra Singh, Panwar said: ‘I was appalled to know that the recent flash floods (in Kinnaur) suddenly cancelled more than 50 percent of the bookings of the tourists in the state, particularly in Shimla.’

He said since tourism is one of the major sources of income for the people of the state, the blow to the industry due the scare created by the floods in Kinnaur district has severely affected the livelihood of lakhs of people.

The deputy mayor wrote to Virbhadra Singh, who also holds a tourism portfolio, that ‘this letter is for immediate intervention that needs to be done so that we do not lose our (tourism) business to various competitors in the country’.

‘My concern is about the negative propaganda that has been carried out in the country about the safety of the tourists in the hilly region,’ he said. Incessant rain in the region 16-18 June triggered massive landslides that blocked most of the roads in the remote Kinnaur region.

Official sources said most of the tourist destinations like Sangla, Pooh, Kaza and Nako in Kinnaur were still cut off from the rest of the state.
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