Gyawali inaugurates VPY-2007

Pokhara, January 1:

Pradip Gyawali, minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation, formally launched ‘Visit Pokhara Year (VPY)-2007’, amidst a function at Camping Chowk, Lake Side in Pokhara today.

Announcing the campaign, minister Gyawali said that the government would release Rs 10 million to construct a new airport nearby Pokhara bazaar. “The construction work will start within a year,” he informed. Gyawali also made public the logo of ‘Visit Pokhara Year-2007’.

He said the ministry has planned to increase the number of tourists visiting Nepal by extending air service to more countries.

“Visit Pokhara Year-2007 has also included Lumbini, Palpa, Chitwan, Pokhara and adjoining areas of Pokhara in its package,” Gyawali added. “Visit Pokhara Year-2007 is announced with the objective of doubling the existing number of tourists coming to Pokhara.”

“Visit Pokhara-2007 is launched with an objective of increasing the number of domestic visitors by 40 per cent, and Indian and third country tourists by 25 per cent,” Tek Bahadur Dangi of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said.

According to data, 70,000 tourists visit Pokhara annually. Among the tourists visiting Nepal, 25 per cent visit Pokhara and half of them go on trekking to Annapurna and Dhawalagiri areas.

“The existing tourists stay of 1.5-day would be extended to three days,” Bashudev Tripathi, coordinator of ‘Visit Pokhara Year-2007’ and a member of NTB, said.

“Nepal has air links with 35 countries and it will be extended with Sri Lanka soon,” Madhav Ghimire, secretary at the ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation, said. Pokhara Tourism Council (PTC) is the organiser of ‘Visit Pokhara Year-2007’. Sundar Shrestha, chairperson of PTC, requested not to stage any kind of bandh and strike during the ‘Visit Pokhara Year- 2007’.

There are some 400 hotels with more than 8000 beds, and more than 63 restaurants, 55 travel agencies and 45 trekking agencies in Pokhara,” Narayan Aryal, chief at the Tourism Office in Pokhara informed.