Shimla’s summer fest begins Wednesday

Shimla, May 31 (IANS) The summer festival of dance and music, a major event to boost tourism in this Himachal Pradesh capital, would begin Wednesday.

‘The five-day International Shimla Summer Festival would begin June 2,’ Shimla Deputy Commissioner and chairman of the event organising committee J.S. Rana said.

He said local artistes would dominate the festival this time.

‘The organisers have decided to give local flavour to the festival by inviting budding artistes from the state alone.’

‘Since inviting big names from the film industry was an expensive proposition, we have decided to invite local budding artistes only,’ he added.

The Himachal Pradesh tourism department is expecting an increase in the arrival of tourists during the festival.

‘We are expecting additional 20,000 tourists from other states this weekend due to the festival,’ Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) general manager Yogesh Behl said.

‘The reservation in most of our hotels is almost 90 percent due to influx of tourists from the northern plains to escape the heat wave,’ he said.

The town has more than 450 hotels, restaurants and guest houses.

Superintendent of Police R.M. Sharma said special parking lots have been created to cater to the tourist rush during the summer festival.

According to tourism industry representatives, Shimla is getting 20,000-25,000 tourists every weekend on an average.