Visakhapatnam: In a jolt to the tourism push in this region, those visiting Araku valley, Ananthagiri and other parts of Vizag Agency complain that they are being over-charged by hotels, guesthouses and lodges.
Taking advantage of substantial peak winter tourist inflow, these entities are going for the kill, charging as high as Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 for a single room per day. Alongside, private cab operators are also fleecing tourists.
The local MLA and a few others have taken up the matter with district collector Pravin Kumar. More tourists from West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, An-dhra Pradesh and Telang-ana visit Araku valley and surrounding areas during the December-January period to experience the cold climate and dense fog.
During week days, rooms in hotels, guesthouses and lodges are available at rates between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500 per day and night. During weekends (Saturday and Sunday), the room are available for Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 per day and night.
“Taking advantage of the rush in the peak winter, private hotels in Araku Valley have started fleecing us by quoting abnormal rates for rooms, food and local transport. I came to Araku Valley along with my family to experience the chill.
The trip has turned expensive as the hoteliers have charged me heavily for accommodation,” says Manoj Bisoi, a tourist from Bhubaneswar. Bisoi said he paid `5,000 for a single room.
Araku valley MLA K. Sa-rveswara Rao said private hotels charged as high as Rs 10,000 per room per day on last Saturday and Sunday. They normally charged Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000, whereas the reputed APTDC Haritha Resorts charged as little as Rs 2,000. In fact, bookings are full for the Haritha Resorts in Araku Valley, Ananthagiri and Jingle Bells (Tyda) from October 15 to January 15.
Admitting that he has received a complaint against private hotels from tourists, collector Pravin Kumar said he has asked the project officer of ITDA-Paderu to review the situation and take action against such hotels and resorts.