Shimla: Much long after the pandemic setback, the fresh snowfall in the ‘Queen of Hills’ on Monday morning brought cheers to the people of Shimla, especially those associated with the tourism industry and other business establishments, as well as the tourists.

The city already had a good arrival of tourists for Christmas and the weekend, now with the first snowfall of the season in Shimla, there has been fresh arrival of thousands of tourists today, to enjoy the snow in Shimla and surrounding tourist destination Kufri.  

Last year Shimla experienced its first spell of snow in the first week of the month on 6 January.   

The old day’s charm of winters was once again back for those associated with the hotel industry as the hotels in Shimla and around were almost housefull.  

While many tourists already lodged in the city, elated have extended their stay, the inflow of the tourist kept swelling up through the entire day.

As many as 5020 vehicles entered Shimla from Solan between 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, on Monday, while 2305 left Shimla. Sunday 7245 vehicles entered Shimla, whereas 5060 made an exit.

Tourists in large numbers thronged the Ridge and the Mall, throwing social distancing norms to the winds.

As the tourists were seen enjoying the snow and taking selfies, the police personnel on duty had a tough time in ensuring compliance of Covid-19 protocol.  

“Anticipating snowfall around Christmas, we came to Shimla, but our disappointment vanished soon after last night’s snowfall. My friends and I have decided to extend our stay in Shimla,” said Rohan Gupta, a tourist from Delhi.

Travel Association President Naveen Paul said that it was after a long time Shimla experienced good snowfall between Christmas and New Year.

This has increased the chances of more influx of tourists to Shimla and I hope this will give boost to tourism industry, he said, adding that with Covid-19 times there is need for adequate taking precautions and safety measures.    

The Shimla Hoteliers Association along with Shimla Beopar Mandal had taken up the matter of relaxing curfew and opening of Sunday market has not only provided relief to the hotel industry but also brightened up business of other business communities and shopkeepers.  

“The relaxation of curfew norms by the state government has helped in giving boost not only to tourism industry, but also the business establishments and other associated with this industry including shops, Restaurant-Dhabas, travel agents, porters etc,” Inderjeet Singh, President Beopar Mandal Shimla said, adding that it will also bring revenue to the state government as well.