BANEPA, Oct 30: Resorts and lodges in Dhulikhel in regular days are generally preferred for hosting domestic and regional seminars and meetings. But this Dashain, they became a favorite destination for Chinese tourists.
Resorts operators said almost all the resorts and lodges in Dhulikhel are presently occupied by the Chinese tourists. “We have barely encountered guests other than Chinese since the Dashain festival began,” said Thama Nath Dhungana, manager of Himalaya Horizon Hotel.
In other seasons too, Dhulikhel receives Chinese tourists traveling individually. But from October to December, it has been attracting Chinese tourists traveling in groups as well.
“As offices remain closed during Dashain, we had feared we might not find any guest during the festival. However, since the festival started, all our rooms have remained fully occupied - thanks to the fascination of Chinese tourists toward Dhulikhel,” added Dhungana.
Dipak Thapa, manager of Mirabel Resort echoed Dhungana.
Dhulikhel, located some 32 km east of Kathmandu, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. In recent period, it has managed to pull a large number of Chinese tourists.
Popular resorts in Dhulikhel like Himalayan Horizon, Dhulikhel Lodge Resort, Mirabel Resort and Dhulikhel Mountain Resort have remained over flown with visitors from the northern neighbor.
According to statistics, of the total tourists visiting Dhulikhel, 60 percent are foreigners, while remaining 40 percent are Nepalis.
“In the past, Britons, Australians, Canadian, German, Austrian and French used to make the biggest chunk of foreign tourists in Dhulikhel. Now Chinese have outnumbered them,” said Prem Kantha Shrestha, president of Hotel Association Dhulikhel and Director of Dhulikhel Lodge Resort.
Shrestha has been offering special travel packages for Chinese tourists entering the country via land route of Kodari. “Wonderful view of sunrise and dozens of snowy peaks, peaceful environment and options for short hiking have really been liked by the Chinese tourists,” he stated.
Recent unveiling of a trekking trail between Sundarijal, Nagarkot and Dhulikhel too has helped the ancient Newari town to get more tourists.
However, hoteliers say they have not yet succeeded in marketing Dhulikhel and tapping its natural beauty to the extent it should have been done.
“Presently, tourists in average are spending 3 to 4 nights in Dhulikhel. However, we have barely managed to market it for luring more visitors,” said Uday Bhusan of Tourism Information Center, Dhulikhel.
He viewed entrepreneurs in Dhulikhel should incorporate more activities, which is possible by adding new products, so that visitors could stay longer in the town.