By Rup Narayan Dhakal : Pokhara—Paschimanchal Hotel Association Pokhara (PHAP) has continued Jaun hai Pokhara (JHP)–let’s go go to Pokhara campaign, holding press meets and interaction programs in four key Nepali cities- Kathmandu, Janakpur, Bharatpur and Bhairahawa. The campaign was supported by Hotel Association Nepal and Gandaki Province government. Nepal Tourism Board is the promoter of the program.
The campaign was launched by PHAP some 17 years ago to revive the decade long conflict hit Nepali tourism. At that time Nepali were hardly accepted as tourists but the major concept of the campaign was that a Nepali also could be a tourist and domestic tourism could be a major pillar to boost the Nepali economy.
Nepal Tourism Board executive member and one of the masterminds behind the campaign Biplab Paudel said that JHP campaign remained lifeline of Nepali tourism during the war-era. He further added that the campaign created visiting habit among the Nepali people. NTB former executive member and another mastermind behind the concept of JHP Bishwo Shankar Palikhe said that the PHAP had launched that campaign at a time when government has no idea about the domestic tourism. “Finally, it remained a model program in domestic tourism,’ Palikhe who is also a former chairman of PCCI stated.
NTB Gandaki chief Mani Lamichhane informed that the tourism ministry has announced 100 tourist destinations across the Nepal, targeting the upcoming Nepal Tourism Year 2020. He also asked all the entrepreneurs from different villages and cities to come up with more programs like JHP.
PHAP immediate past president Bharat Raj Parajuli claimed that those were the domestic tourists who saved Nepali tourism during devastating earthquake that happened in 2015 in Nepal. According to him, Nepali claims 60 percent portion of total tourists visiting Pokhara. During the campaign, Janakpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Lalit Shah asked all the concern sides to start direct bus service from that city to Pokhara. He also demanded air services from Kathmandu to Janakpur and Pokhara to Janakpur.
Entrepreneurs from Chitwan proposed to develop a silver triangle connecting Chitwan, Lumbini and Pokhara. Similarly, entrepreneurs from Janakpur proposed to connect religious Sita birth place Janakpur and naturally rich Pokhara to promote internal tourism. To promote domestic tourism, PHAP is going to organize a 16th Fewa New Year Festival 2076 at Komagane Park in Pokhara during the Nepali New Year 2076 BS from March 12 to 14, focusing mainly culture, food and music, informed PHAP chairman Bikal Tulachan.
This festival is to be organized to support the Internal Tourism Year 2019 which was announced by Gandaki Province Government. Targeting the tourists of festival and ITY 2019, PHAP has announced 15 percent discount in regular menu. So, PHAP has requested all the travel enthusiastic to visit Pokhara during that time. According to data, there are 924 registered hotels in Gandaki Province and 600 are situated in Pokhara region alone. Gandaki Provice hotel sector has an investment of more than Rs 100 billion.