High powered body for tourism development

KATHMANDU: Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Sarad Singh Bhandari, speaking at an interaction in Pokhara, stressed on the need of high powered body-Pokhara Tourism Development Authority, which will take ownership of all tourism products of the region and promote them in domestic as well as international markets. “Such authority will formulate master plan and seek participation of all stakeholders till grass-root level in implementing it,” he said addressing the interaction on ‘Development of tourism in and around Pokhara’ that was organised on Friday at the premises of Nepal Tourism Board(NTB) Regional Office Pokhara.

Participants in the interaction also requested the Minister to expedite the process of construction of the regional airport in Chinndanda, Pokhara and up-gradation of existing airport for the connectivity from major tourist places of Nepal and India in the onset of Nepal Tourism Year 2011. “Coordinated and collective efforts of all the stakeholders are a must for the development of tourism in the region,” Bhandari added.

Representatives of tourism related associations and bodies participating in the interaction programme appraised Minister about various problems faced by the region in tourism promotion. Establishment of Regional Standard Airport in Pokhara, encroachment of the Fewa Lake, promotion of new tourism products, extension of greater Pokhara were the major issues raised during the interaction.

Presentations were made by Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Pokhara Tourism Council and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal in relation to promoting tourism in and around Pokhara. Baikuntha Prasad Acharya, In-charge of NTB Regional Office Pokhara welcomed all the participants for their active participation in the interaction. Representatives of Syangja Tourism Development Committee, Tanahun Tourism Development Committee, Machhapuchre Development Organisation, Mattikhan Development Committee, Sahara Youth Club, Lekhnath Hotel and Restaurant Association, Paschimanchal Hotel Association Pokhara (PHAP), Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents, Nepal Air Sports Association, member of Constituent Assembly and members of Political Parties taking part in discussion raised various issues pertinent in tourism development of the region. Ram Chandra Man Singh, secretary at the Ministry of Tour-ism and Civil Aviation than-ked participants for their ti-me and valuable feedbacks.