Paschimanchal Hotel Association Pokhara (PHAP) is organizing a five day long 15th Fewa New Year Festival 2075 from April 11 at Komagane Park in Lakeside. PHAP has already concluded a Jaun Hai Pokhara- let’s go to Pokhara campaign in West Nepal and a press meet was organized in Pokhara to inform about the festival and its packages. In this context, here is presented chitchat with PHAP General Secretary and the publicity committee coordinator Ganesh Raj Pahari. Excerpts:
There is complaint among the visitors that Fewa festival charge pricey than in normal days; why is it so?
Sometime we also hear such complain but such situation comes when the hoteliers and other entrepreneurs who are not our (PHAP) members charge higher than in normal days. It is also reality that the price goes up when there comes a special occasion and festive time anywhere. The principle of demand and supply also sometime rules the market. At the same time when we visit to the foreign land we must pay more in special occasion than in normal time.
How is the impact of Fewa festival among the Nepali visitors as this festival aims to promote domestic tourism too?
Many Nepalis come to visit Pokhara from various parts of Nepal during Nepali New Year. They think why not to celebrate Nepali New Year as they have been celebrating English New Year as per Gregorian calendar for years. So, they in recent years like to have full of joy during Nepali New Year festival.
What do foreigners think about this festival?
Some foreigners think there is only English New Year in the world but when they come to Pokhara, Fewa festival wonders them. They wish to know the difference between like 2018 and 2075. We have also experience that dozens of foreigners come to Pokhara repeatedly only to celebrate this festival that mainly promotes tourism, food and culture of Nepal.
Is there any contribution of Fewa Festival in the tourism and economy of Nepal?
Of course; Fewa Festival is now a brand of Nepali tourism. When we conduct festival, it leaves chain effects in the sectors like agriculture, garment, banking and so many others. Economy is affected dynamically and tourism could be a back bone of our economy if we continue such festival for years to come.
How has PHAP been conserving Fewa as let’s save Fewa Lake is the main slogan of this festival?
We have been managing two boats to remove aquatic weeds including water hyacinth from Fewa Lake for few years now. The income from those boats also has been spen for lake conservation. Besides that, we have cooperated with WWF Hario Ban Nepal to plant saplings of broom grass in upper part of Fewa to protect lake from mudslide and to reduce sedimentation in the lake. Before that, we had also collected Rs 1,000 from each member of PHAP to save the lake. But in my opinion such initiatives are effective to some extent but the government should come up with concrete master plan to save the lake in practical basis.