Print Edition - 2018-03-04 | MONEY
Water tourism brings cheer to Sindhupalchok
Mar 4, 2018-
Tourist arrivals in hotels and resorts on the banks of Sunkoshi and Bhotekoshi rivers have increased due to the beginning of the summer season. The increased tourist movement has also boosted various water activities in the area, bringing a cheer to hotel and resort entrepreneurs.
Many domestic and foreign tourists are staying at resorts near the rivers to seek adventure sports like canoeing, rafting and bungee-jumping.
Owner of Sukute Beach Adventure Resort Mahendra Singh Thapa said, “Everyday, we are seeing over 90 domestic and foreign tourists come here for rafting. And with the start of the rafting season, we expect numbers to surge in the following months.”
The water tourism industry which was devastated by the 2015 earthquakes that hit Nepal is now attracting visitors in droves. New hotels and resorts in the area are also contributing to the rise in arrivals.
“After the earthquake, over 300,000 tourists have visited Sindhupalchok for adventure sports related to water tourism. About 10,000 individuals are employed in water tourism industry,” said Thapa.
As much as 2,000 visitors per week flock to Sindhupalchok to seek the thrill of rafting. Many tourists hailing from Kathmandu as well as Europe and the US flock to the district for rafting, mountain biking and bungee jumping.
Altogether seven resorts along the banks of Sunkoshi and Bhotekoshi offer rafting facilities. According to Nepal Rafting Association (Nara), a total of 16 hotels and resorts operate in the district.
Rojina Shrestha, a resident of Bhaktapur, said that she came with her group to seek the thrill of rafting.
“Our group comprises of 50 visitors, including foreigners. We had to pre-book a resort since resorts here are packed full on Fridays and Saturdays,” she said.
The Sunkoshi and Bhotekoshi rivers are famous for their adventure potential. National Geographic magazine listed them as seventh among its list of top 10 rivers for rafting. Hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists come to Nepal for trekking, tours, paragliding, rafting and mountain bike-riding, jungle safari and canoeing. However, the number of foreign visitors coming to Nepal for adventurous water sports like rafting, canoeing and bungee-jumping is increasing.
According to a study conducted by Nara, over 60 percent of foreign tourists come to Nepal for water-related activities.
Entrepreneurs said that extraction of river-bed materials, drainage flowing into rivers and haphazard implementation of various projects are key challenges facing the water tourism industry. Managing director of Eco Nepal Adventure Private Limited Chandra Bahadur Dahal said, “Excessive extraction of river-bed materials has affected water tourism. The government should pay attention towards its responsibility in promoting this industry.”
Published: 04-03-2018 08:30