On Dev Deepawali, hotel tariff crosses Rs 1 lakh per day in Varanasi | Varanasi News

VARANASI: Dev Deepawali in Kashi is a spectacle like no other. With 12 lakh tourists and devotees thronging the holy city to witness it on Monday, the room tariff in some of the high-end luxury hotels went up to Rs 1 lakh per day.
With city hotels packed to capacity, a large number of guests preferred to stay at hotels in adjoining districts.
“Coming after a two-year lull of Covid-19 pandemic, Dev Deepawali has given the hospitality industry, especially hoteliers and boatmen, a reason to smile. With tourists willing to spend extravagantly for a comfortable stay, the tariff in the city’s top hotels, especially the ones closer to the ghats, jumped 300% on Monday,” says a source in the hospitality industry.
The hotels with average room rent of Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 were charging Rs 30,000-35,000 per day on Monday. And a few of them with an average tariff of Rs 30,000 jacked up their room charge to as high as Rs 1 lakh. Similarly, booking charges for big boats (bajras) went up from Rs 5,000-Rs 8,000 to Rs 1.50 lakh for a few hours.
“Dev Deepawali has come like a booster dose for hotels and the entire tourism industry. If tariffs in some luxury hotels facing ghats are displaying booking charges up to Rs 1 lakh for the festival day, big boats are being booked for as much as Rs 1.5 lakh for a panoramic view from the Ganga. On normal days, the tariff of luxury hotels is three to four times less than what is being charged on the Dev Deepawali day,” Banaras Hotels Association’s member Gokul Sharma told TOI.
“The tariff in hotels in the city’s other areas, far away from ghats, also witnessed a 50% jump from average Rs 2,000-Rs 8,000 per day. Even small boats with a capacity of eight persons charged Rs 25,000 (Rs 500-Rs 800 on normal days) while ‘bajras’ were not available for less than Rs 1 lakh (Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 on normal days),” said Pradeep Chaurasia, a city-based tour operator.
According to tourism officer Kirtiman Srivastava, of the over 10,000 rooms in hotels and guest houses, over 8,000 are in the budget segment while around 1,000 are in the luxury category. Remaining 1,000 rooms fall under the mid segment.
Recalling how Covid-19 hit the industry in 2020 and 2021, the industry people said that dynamic pricing system has revived the hotel industry this year. “Hotels opened bookings of rooms for Dev Deepawali 10-12 months in advance and most rooms were booked instantly,” said Chaurasia.
“Before Covid-19 spread in 2020, a large number of bookings of hotels and boats was done by foreign tourists,” said hotelier Pradeep Narain Singh, adding that in the past two years the influx of foreigners was negligible. “This year, high-end rooms were booked not only by foreign tourists, but also domestic travellers,” he added.
Usually, Dev Deepawali is celebrated on the occasion of Kartik Purnima. But, due to the lunar eclipse taking place on the day of Kartik Purnima on Tuesday, it was celebrated on Monday. Sharma said that it also benefited the hoteliers as most of the visitors extended their stay by a day to celebrate Kartik Purnima in Kashi.
Commissioner of police, A Satish Ganesh, said, “Around 12 lakh people visited Kashi on Dev Deepawali. They stayed in hotels, guest houses and dharamshalas. Many also returned to their native places in near and far districts after witnessing the celebrations.”
As it was the first Dev Deepawali after the opening of Kashi Vishwanath Dham in December 2021, people had an additional reason to visit the city. The CP said that before occupying places at ghats or boarding boats to enjoy Dev Deepawalim, a large number of people entered KV Dham to offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath temple. By 2 pm, over two lakh people had entered the temple while long queues were seen in and around KV Dham, he added.

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