Bikal Tulachan is the newly elected chairman of Western Regional Hotel Association (WRHA) Pokhara. He is also an owner of Fairmount Hotel, Lakeside Pokhara. Here is presented a small chitchat with young entrepreneur Tulachan about his future plans and programs as a chairman of WRHA Pokhara. Excerpts:
Could you please tell us your upcoming plans and programs as a head of WRHA Pokhara?
Well, I would be focused my effort for the wellbeing of our hotel members. The promotion campaigns would also be continued to lure domestic and foreign tourists in Nepal and Pokhara. Some programs related to corporate social responsibilities are also included in my list.
Besides existing ones, are you thinking any other new cities or countries to include in WRHA Pokhara promotional list?
Basically, we would continue our campaigns like Jaun Hai Pokhara to promote domestic tourism, Chaliye Pokhar for Indian tourists and Pokhara: Pure and Perfect for other international cities including China and so on. Border city sales mission and mid-zone areas of India would also be incorporated in our promotion to lure quantity of tourists conserving our existing tourism market and numbers.
What are the major challenges and threats that tourism sector is facing in recent months?
Excessive price hike in consumer goods, rising number of hotels but decreasing numbers of tourists and the cheaper room tariff of hotels are some of the problems that we are facing in recent days. Pollutions, threat over nature, concrete jungle and problems of road traffic management also are hampering the tourism business.
So, what could government do to assist the tourism entrepreneurs and tourism business?
Of course, the government can do many for us. Discount in bank rates, cheaper interest rates to the entrepreneurs, subsidies in electricity, facilities to tourism equivalent to industrial zone and minimization in unified property tax to hotel sector are some of the ideas that help us if the government really intends to cooperate with entrepreneurs.
But at the same time, government officials have been accusing tourism entrepreneurs of encroaching Phewa Lake, evading tax and breaching the building code for few years; what would you like to say?
It is easy to blame vaguely to a group of entrepreneurs in a public forums but this is not fare to deliver such blames like that way. Responsible officials should pinpoint the culprits and punish them according to the rules and regulation as per existing law. I accept, there might be some lapses but responsible officials should also talk about positive side too.