Pokhara Tourism calls for Effective Promotion
KATHMANDU, March 26: Mr. Rajendra Dhakal, General Secretary of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) Pokhara, talked about the current state of tourism in Pokhara. He believes good planing on infrastructure to be the backbone of tourism. He said Pokhara has had significant plannings in the transportation sector such as international airport, four lane highway, tunnel road project etc.
However he acknowledged that there are still many concerns /problems faced due to slow ongoing infrastructure (Pokhara-Mugling Highway/ Siddhartha Highway) which lowering the arrivals of domestic travelers / regional tourist. Stable government is the next model of successful tourism", stated Mr. Dhakal. Mainly the unstable government poses the most threat to the economy and tourism. He requested the local, provincial and central government to provide more attention and budget towards promotion of sustainable tourism in the region.He wished the Nepal Government to operate Nepal Airlines in Pokhara international airport soonest possible to set a precedent it could helps introducing more airlines.
He also lamented about the lack of vision and understanding by the Government. He talked about Nepal Tourism Board and how it has good future prospects but is currently distracted by internal conflicts. He believes it to be the right time for promotion and wishes for more international and local campaigns such as 'Jau Hai Pokhara campaign' and 'Chaliye Pokhara' campaign “POKHARA PURE & PERFECT “campaign being conducted by the hotel association for last 2 decades . He also announced that 'Phewa Nawa Barsa Mahotsav' would be conducted this Nepali new year as well.
Mr. Dhakal also clarified how the hotel association was focused on both local and international tourists. In terms of international tourists, he emphasized that both Indian and Chinese tourists must be considered equally valuable. "Nepal must behave impartially to both of our neighboring countries without playing favorites to prevent being turned into another Ukraine." claimed Mr. Dhakal. The main way of accommodating the large tourist population of the two nations was surmised to be flight connectivity.
He also expressed distress regarding the conflicts near Phewa region, and claimed their cause to be vote counting and financial gain by politicians . Finally, he explained how the average stay in Pokhara has dropped to two nights from five nights. He believed the unnecessary road construction in the Annapurna trekking routes to be the cause for this, as the tourists have the ability to explore a larger area in a short amount of time, and stay in surrounding areas directly on vehicles . His major message is that Pokhara must break away from over dependence only in natural beauty, by preserving its god gifted natural beauties and also require more investment in theme parks, cruises on one of the lakes , etc. to introduce uniqueness and variety. also he request government to come up with proper financial plans to protect local tourism enterprises for the hardly hit sector, without revival plans many hotels would collapse .