Himachal Tourism Stakeholders Appeal for Election Timing Change to Protect Industry

The Himachal Pradesh Travel Agents’ Association has urged the Chief Election Commissioner of India to consider conducting the Lok Sabha elections in the state during the first phase rather than the seventh phase. The association emphasizes that holding elections in June could significantly harm the tourism and hospitality industry.

In a letter addressed to CEC Rajiv Kumar, the association underscores the negative repercussions experienced by the state’s tourism and hospitality industry as a result of conducting Lok Sabha polls during the final phase in 2019.

Elections for the four Lok Sabha seats will be held on June 1 in Himachal Pradesh. “Himachal witnesses the summer tourist season from April to June, with peak tourism inflow being in May and June. Holding elections during this time directly clashes with tourist influx, leading to revenue losses for the whole industry,” the letter to CEC read.
The letter also states that extended campaigning periods bring uncertainty and disrupt regular business operations. “Tourists hesitate to book travel due to potential travel restrictions, roadblocks, rallies leading to booking cancellations and decreased tourism activity,” the body said.

They have also highlighted that the decline in tourism directly impacts the livelihoods of thousands of individuals employed in the sector, further impacting the state’s economy. “We believe that considering the unique circumstances of Himachal Pradesh, where tourism plays a vital role, holding elections in the first phase would be a balanced and well-considered decision,” it said.

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