Tourists flow in Darjeeling hills thinned this winter

Motor Stand in Darjeeling
Siliguri: Tourists flow in the Darjeeling hills has thinned to a trickle this winter, mainly because of fears sparked by the statehood agitation earlier this year, with few indications that the tide will turn soon.
"In previous winters, Darjeeling and many other destinations in the hills witnessed (hotel) occupancy rates of around 85 per cent. This would increase to over 90 per cent for three to four days. We have not seen such crowds this time," said Samrat Sanyal, a senior member of the travel trade fraternity.
Others blamed "confusion" generated by the statehood strike - which was called off in late September - in the minds of tourists, most of whom plan well in advance.
"People usually plan a trip three to four months ahead. For Darjeeling, the queries started coming in from October-end (about a month after the agitation was withdrawn). Most tourists would have planned winter trips elsewhere. That is why the turnout is low. Those who are visiting Darjeeling now have made last-minute decisions," Sanyal said.
Hopes now rest on the summer of 2018. "Normality has been restored in the hills. We expect people to plan trips for the summer now. The inflow will surely increase from March-end," said Tanmoy Goswami, a travel planner in Siliguri.

The Telegraph

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