Hotels are full as North Bengal gears up for a ‘revenge trip’ during Durga Puja | Travel

Over 70 percent of hotel rooms in tourist destinations in northern West Bengal are booked for the Durga Puja holiday, an official said on Saturday. The region’s economy, which boasts of some scenic Himalayan destinations such as Darjeeling and Kalimpong, and the forests of the Dooars, has been battered by the pandemic as tourists stayed home during the lockdowns. (Also read: West Bengal gearing up to expand tourism, 10-day Durga puja package and Sundarbans trip to be offered )



As coronavirus cases dwindle, businesses are hoping for a buzzing festive season with train tickets to New Jalpaiguri – the region’s gateway, sold out and hotel rooms filling up fast. Assistant secretary of the Bengal Hotel Federation, Ujjwal Ghosh, said the region has seen good footfall during the summer holidays this year, and hoteliers are expecting a better holiday season.

‘Over 70% of hotel rooms have already been booked in the Hills and Dooars, and we expect the rest to be filled soon,’ he said.

Homestays are also seeing huge demand and most are expected to be fully booked in the coming days, he added. The West Bengal government announcing a 10-day Durga Puja vacation for its employees, coupled with “revenge trips”, has prompted this massive demand, tourism industry insiders have said.



A surge in “revenge trips” as people make up for lost vacations during the pandemic has also sent hotel prices soaring to twice normal levels, they said. All government housing in the area is almost full between October 1 and 10 – the Durga Puja holiday, officials said.

Niranjan Saha, manager of West Bengal Tourism’s Jaldapara Tourist Lodge, said all rooms at the property were fully booked during the festive season. “We are currently working on a special menu for guests who will be coming during the holiday season,” he said. said.

To cope with the influx of tourists, the Eastern Railway announced two special trains between Kolkata and New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri in October. Reservations for these trains will begin on September 5. The Northeast Frontier Railway has also decided to operate four new miniature train rides in Darjeeling during the festive season. The rides will run between Darjeeling and Ghum from October 1.



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