Atal Tunnel boosts tourist flow in north Indian region Lahaul and Spiti

 Tuesday, July 12, 2022 


Atal Tunnel, the 9.02-km long engineering wonder, which has been built under the 13,051-feet-high Rohtang Pass, links Manali, a well-known tourist destination, with the far-off district that previously used to remain cut off for four to five months during winter.

The Atal Tunnel, which has the characteristic of being the longest subway in the world at a height of more than 10,000 feet, has contributed to the tourist surge in the tribal region of Lahaul and Spiti by around 300%.

The cold desert witnessed 14,222 visitors during January and July last year, compared to 57,927 this year during the same period.

Before the Prime Minister launched this tactical tunnel in October 2020, around 47,979 domestic tourists and 4,382 tourists from abroad had visited the district. It increased to 65,522 and 4,112 after the opening of the tunnel.

Nevertheless, the pandemic impacted tourism in a huge way with only 3,195 tourists coming to the tribal district in 2020. The footfall became much better when the government stopped the lockdown, with 83,238 tourists visiting the Lahaul-Spiti district. This year, 561 tourists from overseas have visited the tribal district, and around 57,366 domestic visitors have traveled around it.

The tunnel remains accessible in all weathers, and this has led to a gush in tourist movement in the region, providing a boost to the hospitality sector. The tunnel has also allowed farmers to trade their produces in far-away markets. The district was chiefly agrarian before the tunnel was completed, with peas and potatoes being the cash crops. Now, locals are more and more exploring the tourism sector.

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