Eco and agro tourism gains steam in Ilam

- BIPLAV BHATTARAI, ILAM

Nov 25, 2017-

Products ranging from agriculture and handmade fabric have been attracting foreigners to the eastern hilltop of Ilam. The area is popular for tea, cardamom, ginger, red round big chilli (dalle khursani), milk product, broom and handmade fabric. 

Last week, a group of 13 foreigners from Sweden visited the market in Ilam along with nearby small-scale enterprises producing handmade fabric and pickle. In the last few years, Ilam has been gaining popularity as an eco and agro tourism destination. 

The visiting delegation visited Samjhana Dhaka Udyog, a small-scale enterprise producing handmade fabric. They also visited another enterprise producing pickle in Pipalbote. The lollipop factory in Chureghanti—a type of confectionery prepared from milk—was another attraction for them. 

Ilam has been attracting domestic traders for a long time and has been gradually attracting foreign traders as well. 

Locals are optimistic that their produces have the potential to be traded in the international market. 

Except for a few areas in Nepal, foreign visitors are not aware of new destinations, said Jenney, a guide of the Swedish team. “Besides the Everest region and few other areas, foreigners are not familiar with the tourist destinations and products in other areas,” she said. “However, there are some visitors who prefer observing people’s lifestyle and Nepal’s indigenous produces.” According to Devika Limbu, proprietor of Samjhana Dhaka Udyog, the visiting delegation purchased handmade fabric during their visit. She expects that her product will gain in popularity in the coming days through word of mouth marketing from them. 

Last year, a group of visitors from Sweden had shown similar interest in products made in Ilam. As Ilam has been gaining popularity as a tourist hotspot, the local market is also reaping the benefits. 

Published: 25-11-2017 09:18

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