Print Edition - 2017-07-01 | MONEY
Soaring Indian arrivals boost Pokhara tourismLAL PRASAD SHARMA
Jul 1, 2017-
Indian arrivals to Pokhara have been swelling lately with many travellers flocking to the lake city in western Nepal with their families after finding it to be an ideal destination for their vacation.
The visitors from the southern neighbour reach Pokhara mostly by private automobile or passenger vehicle. As a result, cars and sports utility vehicles bearing Indian registration numbers have become a common sight in Pokhara.
The most popular sightseeing spots among Indian visitors are Patale Chhango, Gupteshwor Temple, Chamere Cave, Mahendra Cave and Bindhyabasini Temple. They also go boating on Pokhara’s famed Phewa Lake and paragliding from Sarangkot hill.
Indian arrivals had started soaring just before the first phase of local elections was held last May. Visitor numbers dropped during the polls.
Arrivals have risen once again, according to Bikal Tulachan, president of Hotel Association Nepal, Western Region Chapter. “This jump in arrivals during the off season with the monsoon starting has provided much support to Pokhara’s tourism sector,” Tulachan said. “This is proof that Pokhara is a suitable tourist destination for all seasons.”
Pokhara currently has around 400 tourist hotels offering about 16,000 beds. “Almost 40 percent of these rooms are filled with Indian tourists,” said Tulachan.
Tourists from India, especially those from Gujarat, Chennai and Mumbai, come to Pokhara to escape the summer heat and enjoy their holidays. Some of the tourists also travel to adjoining districts. Many even make a trip to the Muktinath Temple in Mustang and the Manakamana Temple in Gorkha. Tourism entrepreneur Bachchuram Tiwari said the flow of Indian tourists would probably have gone up further had the highways linking Pokhara been renovated. “The sorry state of the Narayangadh-Mugling highway is a big a turn-off for Indian tourists,” said Tiwari, who is also the director of Berge Inn Hotel.
Although Indian tourists can avoid this segment if they take the Siddhartha Highway to reach Pokhara, many do not prefer this route, according to Tiwari. “So the renovation of the Narayangadh-Mugling segment at the earliest is a must,” he added.
Indian vacationers mostly visit Pokhara in March, April, May, June, October and November.
‘Go Pokhara’ campaign in Indian cities
POKHARA: Tourist entrepreneurs in Pokhara are all set to launch ‘Go Pokhara’ campaign in different Indian cities on Friday. The campaign, which will continue for five days, will be conducted in major cities of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states, such as Patna, Gorakhpur and Lucknow, among others. During these five days, interactions will be held with tourism entrepreneurs in India and information about Pokhara as a holiday gateway will be disseminated, according to Bikal Tulachan of Hotel Association Nepal. This is the sixth edition of the campaign. (PR)
Published: 01-07-2017 08:20