By Rup Narayan Dhakal : Pokhara—Tourism entrepreneurs from Northeast India have suggested Nepali concern bodies to amplify air and road connectivity to lure larger number of Indian tourists to Nepal.
At a time when entrepreneurs from Pokhara have claimed that the city is tourist capital of Nepal, Indian tour operators as well as other entrepreneurs from Northeast India advised visiting Nepali side to upgrade the road and air infrastructures, including other amenities relating to tourism businesses in Nepal.
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri and a team of Indian journalists had also suggested same in two separate programs organized by PCCI on May 21 and WRHA Pokhara on May 30, in Pokhara.
A group of tourism entrepreneurs including Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) officials and Pokhara Tourism Council (PTC) executives are visiting some of the Northeast parts of India like Siliguri, Dooars and Gangtok, with a motto of tourism promotion under six day long Border Town Promotion Tour that kicked off on last Saturday is being organized by NTB and coordinated by PTC. In a same kind of visit of last year, a MoU was clinched between Eastern Himalaya Travel & Tour Operators Association (EHTTOA) and PTC to promote the tourism of Pokhara and Northeast India.
During ongoing visit, entrepreneurs from both the countries also have held joint interactions to exchange tourists and experiences for mutual benefits in the days to come. The availability of direct flights from Pokhara to Nepalese towns bordering to India and the road connectivity from India to Nepal were burning issues raised by Indian side during the interaction, informed NTB Pokhara senior officer Surya Thapaliya.
Lataguri Resort Owners Welfare Association (LROWA) Chairman Barun Sarkar said that the Indian tourists have been facing difficulties from the entry point of Kakadbhitta due to poor road condition, for years. LROWA General Secretary Dibyendra Dev told to reporters that the Indian entrepreneurs hesitate to send tourists to Nepal because of the sorry state of the Nepalese roads.
However, PTC Chairman Kedar Nath Sharma believes that the ongoing visit would be fruitful to promote the tourism of Pokhara and Nepal. PTC vice chairman Bharat Raj Parajuli claimed that the entrepreneurs from Pokhara have been urging the Nepal Government to upgrade the road conditions and other infrastructures, for years.
Thousands of Indian tourists from Siliguri, Dooarsars, Gangtok, Darjeeling, Manipur, West Bangle, Asam, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Mizoram reach to Nepal via Kakadbhitta especially to visit shrines like Pashupanti Nath and Mukti Nath.
Earlier on Saturday, NTB Pokhara Chief Uday Bhattarai, Western Regional Hotel Association Pokhara Chairman Bikal Tulachan, Pokhara Valley Urban Development Committee Chairman Sundar Kumar Shrestha, National Tourism Council member Basu Dev Tripathi including others were present during a farewell to visiting team, in Pokhara on Saturday.