Call to develop tourism related products

Pokhara, May 9:

Dev Prasad Gurung, Consti-tuent Assembly (CA) member and minister for local development today speaking at a programme organised by Regional Hotel Association Nepal, Pokh-ara, said tourism sector should develop tourism related products to be independent in itself.

“If we really want to develop tourism sector as an industry, everything that is needed for tourism sector should be produced in Nepal,” Gurung, spea-king at a programme to honour CA members of Kaski, said.

“Tourism entrepreneurs import necessary things for tourism sector from foreign countries. Tourism sector cannot be developed as an industry until it is independent,” he said, adding that tourism entrepreneurs and the Maoists, in the past, made several attempts to uplift the tourism sector.

“However, the attempts were not enough,” he added. “I am hopeful that the new government will be able to address the problems faced by the tourism sector.”

Tourism entrepreneurs had faced lots of problems during the decade-long conflict. “You have suffered a lot in the past,” he said urging them to contribute in the formation of New Nepal.

“So, nobody has to suffer anymore.”

As trekking is a major part of Nepali tourism industry, the new government will go join hands with tourism entrepreneurs to create conducive environment for them, he said. “Lets work together to lure more trekkers to Annapurna area.” He said that the new government will allocate more budget for the extension of Pokhara airport in next budget.

Bashudev Tripathi of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Laxmi Bahadur Bhattarai, chairman of the Regional Hotel Association of Nepal, Pokhara also spoke on the occasion.

Revenue up

MADHYAPUR: Bhaktapur Municipality collected revenue worth Rs 66.9 million last year with an increase in numbers in tourist arrivals. Tourist arrivals in the municipality went up by 31.45 per cent to 1,21,430 in comparison to the number in the previous year. The municipality charges Rs 50 entry fee from SAARC tourists and Rs 750 from non-SAARC tourists. — RSS