Chitwan to remain open for tourists on election day

- Bimal Khatiwada, CHITWAN

May 14, 2017-

Domestic and foreign tourists visiting Chitwan during phase one of local polls will not face any problem in travelling around the district, as vehicles have been arranged to facilitate their movement. Also, tourist hotels and restaurants will remain open on that day.

Regional Hotel Association Nepal has arranged cars and buses with green registration number plates for domestic and foreign tourists visiting Chitwan on local election day which falls on Sunday. 

These cars and buses will pick up tourists from airports and other locations and take them to their destinations.

“We made this arrangement to facilitate movement of tourists,” Suman Ghimire, president of the association, said. 

These services are being offered as the government has barred movement of public and private vehicles on Sunday when the first phase of local level elections will take place in 34 districts, including Chitwan. 

Chitwan is home to the country’s most visited Chitwan National Park, where 68 species of animals, including Bengal tigers and one-horn rhinos, reside. Recently, tourists have started tossing out the popular jungle safari destination from the list of must-visit destinations in Nepal because of the sorry state of the 36-km Muglin-Narayangadh highway, which is the gateway to Chitwan from Kathmandu and Pokhara.

“The transportation services will not only be offered to tourists visiting Chitwan National Park but those visiting Meghauli and Kasara,” said Ghimire, adding, “Vehicles will have to obtain special passes from the association to operate their cars and buses on the election day.” The association is offering this service after getting permission from the Election Office, according to Ghimire.

Lately, the flow of domestic and foreign tourists visiting Chitwan has been increasing. “The number, however, has gone down in the last two days because of the election, but we expect the flow to revive upon completion of the first phase of local elections,” Ghimire said. 

Tourists visiting Chitwan on election day will not face any problem in finding places to stay and eat as well, according to those engaged in travel trade. 

“We will be providing regular services on Sunday as well,” said Subodh Pradhan, promoter of Sarang Wildlife Sanctuary in Megauli. “So, tourists need not worry.” Also, services such as elephant and jeep safari and canoe riding will be available as in regular days.

Meanwhile, in Kathmandu, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) is providing shuttle bus service for tourists and other passengers from Tribhuvan International Airport on the local election day.

“We have arranged shuttle bus service to and from the airport to major five-star hotels to facilitate movement of travelers”, said Sudan Subedi, a senior official at the NTB.

Published: 14-05-2017 08:46

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