Print Edition - 2015-03-11 | MONEY
New resort turns sleepy village into tourist spot
Mar 10, 2015-
Until two years ago, Rupakot village on the outskirts of Pokhara was a neglected place with the residents migrating to cities and abroad. Only elderly people and children remained in the houses in the village which is situated at an elevation of 1,080 metres.
All that changed with the opening of Rupakot Resort in November 2012 as the sleepy village became a vibrant tourist destination. Migration has slowed, a road has been built and the village economy has been boosted with the resort consuming local products.
The resort has 42 guest rooms. The proprietor Pushpa Adhikari said they planned to add another 74 rooms and convert it into a five-star hotel. Adhikari is a non-resident Nepali (NRN) based in Belgium.
“The resort will help to bring in more investment from NRNs and attract foreign tourists,” said Adhikari. The resort, which is spread over 200 ropanis of land, has been designed like the local rural houses. Structures named the World Village, Rose Garden and Great Wall have been built near the resort.
Rupakot village is located 20 km from Pokhara. The resort has moved to offer hiking tours from Pokhara to the village in a bid to further boost local tourism.
Similarly, many resorts are being built on the hills surrounding Pokhara. One upcoming property, the Hotel Himalaya View, is located at Sarangkot and offers a panorama of Mount Machhapuchchhre and Fewa Lake.
Since the construction of the hotel started, roads have been widened and water facility has been provided in the village, said a local Raj Kumar Sharma.
The financiers of the Himalaya View said that the hotel and the Annapurna Cable Car being constructed here cost Rs 700 million each.
These projects are being implemented as a joint venture between Nepali and Japanese investors. They are expected to create a large number of jobs for the local people.
The Hotel Himalaya View, which will initially have 50 rooms, is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. Various facilities like sports and entertainment, roads and drinking water will also be constructed for the benefit of the locals.
Hari Sharma, immediate past president of the Paschimanchal Hotel Association, said that these hotels would help to promote Pokhara as a tourism centre.
He added that once an international airport is constructed in Pokhara, more hotels would be required. “If hotels and resorts are constructed in hilly areas, fertile land at the valley bottom will be saved from being concretized,” he added.
There are 400 registered hotels in Pokhara and they can accommodate 10,000 tourists. Entrepreneurs said that more investment was required from both domestic and foreign investors including NRNs in the hotel sector. Meanwhile, the Shangri-La Group is planning to open a resort.
Published: 11-03-2015 06:49