Pokhara to be declared a tourism capital: HAN

13th Sep, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

POKHARA, Sep 13: Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) conducted a program inviting tourism stakeholders of the region and deliberated on the ways of preparations to declare it a tourist capital and gateway of South Asia. HAN in association with West Regional Hotel Association Pokhara, Nepal Tourism Board on Tuesday, 11 September 2018 invited Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung as the chief guest and Kiran Gurung, minister for finance and planning of Gandaki Province as special guest.

Tourism entrepreneurs, lawmakers, Pokhara Metropolitan City Mayor and media persons were present at the interaction that urged the government to declare Pokhara a tourism capital of Nepal and a special tourism zone by capitalizing on its maximum opportunities for economic prosperity in particular. HAN Chairman Amar Man Shakya stressed on the development of sustainable tourism to make Gandaki a prosperous province by adopting the policy and strategy forwarded by HAN. He also raised the issue of investment friendly and tourism friendly environment to flourish the tourism in Gandaki province and to set a model.

Former Chairman and Coordinator of Gandaki Province from Past President Council of HAN Mr. Prasiddha Bahadur Pandey presented the concept paper on Pokhara as a tourism capital of Nepal. He focused on the mass tourism by promoting MICE tourism in Pokhara and other forms of, adding that the Pokhara is suitable destination for all kinds of tourists. He also requested to provincial government to to declare tax holidays for at least ten years and cheaper interest rate in bank loans to draw more investor which is the prerequisite for the set plan.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung of Gandaki Province said that the tourism capital was an innovative concept for this region and his government is busy in drafting new policies relating to tourism. He also stressed on the need of infrastructures and connectivity development including roads and airports for easy access to the tourists who wish to visit to Gandaki Province and federal government must assist them in declaring Pokhara as a tourist capital. Minister of Finance Affairs and Planning of Gandaki Province Mr. Kiran Gurung reminded that the government has included the plan of a history museum in Ligligkot and a signature bridge over the Bijaypur Khola in the present fiscal budget and he stressed on the need to rectify our problems and work out for standing out amidst tourism products for speciality, which alone is a great pull factor for global tourism.

Pokhara Metropolitan City Mayor Man Bahadur GC requested all the concerned to develop Pokhara as a tourism hub rather than a mere transit of tourists. Chairman of West Regional Hotel Association Pokhara Mr. Bikal Tulachan urged the government to provide cheaper bank loan in tourism sector together with investment friendly policies.

Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Bishwo Shankar Palikhe asked the government to provide paid holidays to civil servants. Kedar Nath Sharma, Pokhara Tourism Council Chairman, requested to end the syndicate system existing in tourism sector for good. Gandaki Province assembly members Mr. Deepak Koirala, Mr.Man Bahadur Gurung, HAN vice president Shreejana Rana, Youbaraj Shrestha including others put their suggestions and views during the interaction. Binayak Shah, Secretary Greneral of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) said that the program was designed with a view to attracting government attention at Pokhara and prepare a ground for investment friendly environment starting from Pokhara itself.