Indian tour operators stress on quality transport during promotional visit by Nepal

5th Jul, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, July 5 : Indian tour operators have asked that quality transport services between Pokhara and Birgunj near the Indian border be provided in order to popularize the lake city as a tourist destination among Indians.

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Speaking at an interaction programme with tourism entrepreneurs from Pokhara who are on a promotional visit in Patna, the capital of the Indian state Bihar, Indian tour operators complained about the low quality transport services between Birgunj and Pokhara.

Travel traders from Pokhara are currently in Patna to conduct the sixth edition of the ‘Go Pokhara’ campaign organised by the Paschimanchal Hotel Association and the Nepal Tourism Board in the Indian city.

During the interaction, Indian tour operators said bus services to Pokhara were not tourist friendly. Gajendra Singh, public relations officer of Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation, also asked the visiting tourism entrepreneurs from Pokhara to establish an information centre in his state to inform locals about Pokhara.

“Although Pokhara is one of the best destinations for Indian tourists, the low quality of transport services and tedious frontier formalities that travellers from India have to deal with while entering Nepal are affecting the inflow of Indian tourists via Birgunj,” he said. “Direct flights to Nepal from Patna are also a must to increase Indian arrivals to Pokhara.”

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The ‘Go Pokhara’ campaign, which will end on Tuesday with an interaction in Gorakhpur, also held interactions with tourism entrepreneurs in Lucknow on Sunday

.Bikal Tulachan, president of Hotel Association Nepal, Western Region Chapter, expressed hopes that the campaign would give a boost to Pokhara tourism which is slowly reviving after being hit hard by the devastating 2015 earthquake, unofficial Indian blockade and Tarai unrest. Terming Pokhara as an all-weather destination, Tulachan urged Indian tourists to visit their neighbouring country.

Indian arrivals to Pokhara have been swelling lately with many travellers flocking to the lake city in western Nepal with their families after finding it to be an ideal destination for their vacation.

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Due to lack of good tourist transport services, visitors from the southern neighbour reach Pokhara mostly by private automobile or passenger vehicle. As a result, cars and sports utility vehicles bearing Indian registration numbers have become a common sight in Pokhara.

The most popular sightseeing spots among Indian visitors are Patale Chhango, Gupteshwor Temple, Chamere Cave, Mahendra Cave and Bindhyabasini Temple. Indian thrill seekers also go boating on Pokhara’s famed Phewa Lake and paragliding from Sarangkot hill.

Indian arrivals had started soaring just before the first phase local elections were held last May. Visitor numbers dropped during the polls, but arrivals have risen once again, according to Tulachan. Pokhara currently has around 400 tourist hotels offering about 16,000 beds. Almost 40 percent of these rooms are occupied by Indian tourists.