Tourism entrepreneurs to jointly promote Pokhara, Lumbini
POKHARA, May 12: Tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara and Lumbini have joined hands to jointly promote both tourist destinations. They have also expressed commitment to identify new destinations and make efforts to introduce direct flight connectivity and inter-city luxury buses between Pokhara and Lumbini.
At an interaction organized in Pokhara, officials of Siddhartha Association of Travel Agents (SATA) and Pashchimanchal Hotel Association Pokhara (PHAP) also agreed make efforts to attract and domestic and Indian tourists.
“It´s going to be easy to great pressure and to bring positive result with the joint effort,” Biplab Poudel, president of PHAP, said. He expressed hope that the agreement would play a key role in increasing number of tourists in both the destinations.
Poudel further added that lack of proper surface transport and direct air connectivity was affecting movement of tourists between the two destinations.
At present, tourist willing to visit Pokhara from Lumbini and vice versa must fly to Kathmandu or charter an aircraft as there is no direct flight between the two destinations.
“Although Buddha Air was preparing to operate scheduled fights between Bhairahawa - the nearest airport from Lumbini - and Pokhara, it didn´t materialize,” Poudel said, adding that officials of both the associations would now request airlines operators to fly between the two destinations.
Entrepreneurs are hopeful that the tie up will not only help increase the number of tourists but would also help increase tourists length of stay in Nepal.
“Large number of Indian tourist visiting Lumbini are willing to go to Muktinath Temple in Mustang via Pokhara,” SATA President Sanjaya Bamjan said, adding, “In the lack of proper transport facility, we have been failing to promote Pokhara from Lumbini.”
He said introduction of tourist coach and direct flight would be beneficial as most of the religious travelers are elderly people.
Entrepreneurs said they were also creating environment so that Indian tourists extend their stay in Nepal. “Most of the Indian tourists coming through land routes return back on the same day. Our attractive packages and services will help them stay in Nepal at least for a night,” added Bamjan.