Shimla/Manali: Himachal Pradesh is expected to get nearly 50,000 tourists during the three day weekend starting with the Janmashtami holiday on Friday, officials said on Thursday.

According to tourism department estimates, over 50,000 tourists from neighbouring Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi are likely to visit the state on Friday onwards.

"The response this weekend is good. Most of the prime properties in Shimla, Kasauli, Chail, Dharamsala, Naggar, Manali and Dalhousie have received good responses," Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) General Manager Yogesh Behl told.

HPTDC has 57 economy and high-end hotels in the state that have 1,070 rooms and 2,320 beds. It also runs 60 restaurants and cafes.

Manali and nearby destinations are expecting more than 20,000 tourists this weekend, said Kullu District Tourism Officer Balbir Thakur.

"We are daily getting more than a dozen queries about road connectivity in and around Manali. We telling them that roads are in perfect condition and there is no traffic chaos," he said.

Last week's cloudburst in upper Manali has affected the tourism industry, with a dip in tourist arrivals mainly to Manali town and nearby tourist spots.

HPTDC Managing Director Lokender Chauhan said the cloudbust did not damage the Kullu Manali National Highway 21. "The Manali-Leh highway near Palchan (10 km from Manali) was also not damaged to the extent of preventing traffic flow," he said.

HPTDC is also offering monsoon discount of up to 25 percent on its hotels in Kullu, Manali, Naggar and Keylong. "Our office in Manali is also organising sightseeing tours around Manali including the Rohtang Pass," he said.

But due to monsoon rains, the government has warned tourists not to venture near rivers and streams since the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna and their tributaries are in spate. Motorists are being told to be cautious while driving in the interiors as chances of road cave-ins and landslides are high.

If you want to holiday in Himachal, plan the trip in advance and check road conditions. Since most tourist spots in Kinnaur, Chamba, Lahaul and Spiti and Kullu are at high altitudes, during monsoon, carry woollens and eatables since you may get stranded on roads.

If in a four-wheeler, bring along an extra driver if you plan to drive at night. Also, trek in small groups with the help of guides.


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