POKHARA, Oct 15: With the start of main tourist season in the country, dozens of paragliders crowd Sarangkot gostling for space. According to paragliding flight providers, tourists even have to wait in the queue to experience the adventure sport after the numbers of aspirants increased substantively.
According service providers, over 4 hundred tourists experience the excitement of soaring in the sky daily. The 16 companies operating paragliding flights have been providing the service in 4-6 schedules.
Nepal Airsport Association (NAA) General Secretary Sobit Baniya informed that tourists were forced to wait for their turn to fly due to the increase in the tourists wanting to paraglide. “It is too crowded now. Tourists are not finding their turn to glide in the sky at the time they want,” said Baniya.
Baniya further informed that with the increase of Chinese tourists, who previously did not prefer adventure sports and trekking, the crowds of willing tourists for paragliding have gone up considerably. “We should really thank the Chinese tourists due to whom the paragliding business is doing good at the start of the season itself,” Baniya said.
Basanta Dawadi, who has been in the paragliding business for long, said that the adventure sport of paragliding has drawn more crowds this year´s than previous years. he said such huge number of will paragliders was unexected and added 50 percent of them were Chinese.
“50 percent of the paragliders are Chinese and rests are European and Indians,” he added. September to April is considered the best season for the paragliding in Pokhara. The charge of the half-hour flight costs domestic tourist is Rs 4,000 whereas it is 7,500 for foreigners.
According to Prabin Gautam, the manager of paragliding provider Avia Club, the service providers have to increase the numbers of flights due to the increasing crowd. “We had conducted the flights in four schedules last year in this season. However, we are operating flights in six schedules already in this season,” said Gautam.
“The beauty of Pokhara is further felt through the Paragliding. I am really attracted to the beauty this place,” Dominik Bartelheimer, a German tourist said after paragliding. He said that the Himalayan ranges and the lakes in Pokhara seen through the paragliding flights were alluring to him.