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13 Jun 2017

Hills strife to hit traders where it hurts the most

TNN | Jun 12, 2017,DARJEELING: If the call for an indefinite lockdown of government offices and banks in Darjeeling wasn't bad enough, GJM president Bimal Gurung's "appeal" to tourists to leave Darjeeling on Sunday came as a death knell for the tourism sector in the Hills.
Darjeeling hotel owners believe the implications will be manifold. "This is going to have a long-term impact.We apprehend that this will have an impact even in the next tourist season starting October," said a hotel owner.
Pradeep Lama, the secretary of Darjeeling Association of Travel Agents, also endorsed the view. "Who would take a chance to visit the Hills during the next Puja season if the most popular leader here directly threatens tourists? It's sending a very poor message not only to tourists from Bengal but from the entire country.This may lead to a long-term harm for tourism in Darjeeling," he said.
Another hotel owner said, "The political reasoning is understandable. Most of the hotel owners in Darjeeling are not locals. This tourist season ends in mid-June. After a huge tourist spike this season, locals involved in the industry are now flush with cash. The general feeling is that this isn't likely to impact the locals in the short term. We expect the political rhetoric will cease after the GTA elections."
"To me, however, this is a myopic reasoning. A longterm strife will hit supplies from the plains. This includes LPG and even food. This can push up prices in the local markets and ultimately hit the people here," the owner added.
DARJEELING: If the call for an indefinite lockdown of government offices and banks in Darjeeling wasn't bad enough, GJM president Bimal Gurung's "appeal" to tourists to leave Darjeeling on Sunday came as a death knell for the tourism sector in the Hills.
Darjeeling hotel owners believe the implications will be manifold. "This is going to have a long-term impact.We apprehend that this will have an impact even in the next tourist season starting October," said a hotel owner.
Pradeep Lama, the secretary of Darjeeling Association of Travel Agents, also endorsed the view. "Who would take a chance to visit the Hills during the next Puja season if the most popular leader here directly threatens tourists? It's sending a very poor message not only to tourists from Bengal but from the entire country.This may lead to a long-term harm for tourism in Darjeeling," he said.
Another hotel owner said, "The political reasoning is understandable. Most of the hotel owners in Darjeeling are not locals. This tourist season ends in mid-June. After a huge tourist spike this season, locals involved in the industry are now flush with cash. The general feeling is that this isn't likely to impact the locals in the short term. We expect the political rhetoric will cease after the GTA elections."
"To me, however, this is a myopic reasoning. A long term strife will hit supplies from the plains. This includes LPG and even food. This can push up prices in the local markets and ultimately hit the people here," the owner added.








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