KATHMANDU: Thamel has been the center of tourism industry in Kathmandu for over more than four decades. It is one of the popular area in Kathmandu Valley. Thamel indeed is a melting pot where one can meet people from varied backgrounds and countries. Starting from hippie days when many artists came to Nepal and spent weeks in Thamel, thamel is distinguished by its narrow alleys crowded with various shops.
The very first time when the tourists step on the soil of Nepal they will go to Thamel, it is also estimated that 80 percent of the tourists go on a visit to Thamel once a time in their life after arriving Nepal. As it is a popular among tourists it is filled with tour agents, trekking guides, clothing stores, cafes, music shops, handicraft and souvenir shops, travel agencies, groceries, hotels and restaurants and many more outlets providing items of daily and timely necessities.
Within five kilometer walk one can see the ecstacy of the Thamel. Most of the tourist do not use veichle in Thamel, cars, bicycle, rickshaws, two wheelers and taxis ply these narrow streets. Thamel also acts as the pre base camp for mountaineers. it voasts a wide range of mountaineering gear.
Due to the 2015 April’s devastating earth quake and disruption in the border by the agitating Madhesis resulted in the halt of tourists flow to Nepal. According to the data by Federation of Neplese Chembers and Industry of Commerse (FNCCI) Nepal lost more than 1 billion dollar, few months after the country was struck by series of earthquake. The disruption on the border (which was claimed to be a blockade by the then Governement of K.P Oli) which started just after the eartquake proved to be the worst economic disaster. Daily life in Tarai, the southern plains boardering India along with other parts of the country paralysed for almost two months by general strike called by political parties and organisations. As a result Nepal association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) claimed Nepal lost half the number of tourist in comparision to the previous year.
As Nepal is renowned as one of the beautiful country it posses lots of possibilities for tourism development. But Nepal Government is not serious because of the political dillema. Government already has made master plan to develop the Thamel as a tourism destination but its not implemented thoroughly. Though Thamel Tourism Development Council (TTDC) was established in 1989 comprising group of people working in tourism sector it doesnot seems to be in existence upon seeing the condition out there. Meanwhile, TTDC has proposed to develop the Roads, Modern toilet, install CCTV camera and resume night life. TTDC president Ram Sharan Thapaliya said “We are working to make Thamel a attractive tourist destination for which we have lots of aim.”