Kathmandu, September 13 Tourism potential of Pokhara — a popular tourist destination and gateway to Annapurna — was discussed in Pokhara by Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) is association with Paschimanchal Hotel Sangh. Chief minister, finance minister, lawmakers of Gandaki Province, along with mayor of Pokhara Metropolitan City, tourism entrepreneurs and media persons attended an interaction that urged the federal government to declare Lake City Pokhara as a tourism capital of Nepal and a special tourism zone. HAN President Amar Man Shakya stressed on the development of sustainable tourism to make Gandaki a prosperous province. He also raised the issue of investment- and tourism-friendly environment so that tourism can flourish in the province. Similarly, former HAN president and Coordinator of Gandaki Province Prasidha Bahadur Pandey presented the concept paper on Pokhara as a tourism capital of Nepal and floated the prospects of Meeting Incentive Conference and Exhibition (MICE) tourism in Pokhara, adding that the Pokhara is a suitable destination for all kinds of tourists. He also urged the government to declare tax holidays for 10 years and cheaper lending rates from banks and financial institutions, according to the press note issued by HAN. Addressing the event Gandaki Province Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung asserted that the concept of tourism capital was a good idea and his government was busy formulating new policies, including those relating to tourism. The statement further says that Gurung underscored the need of infrastructure and connectivity, including roads and airports, for easy access to the tourists who wish to visit Gandaki Province. Nepal Tourism Board’s former executive member and Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Bishwo Shankar Palikhe asked the government to provide paid holidays to civil servants, as per the press note. Pokhara Tourism Council Chairman Kedar Nath Sharma requested all the concerned stakeholders to end the syndicate system in tourism sector. Members of Parliament from Gandaki Province Deepak Koirala, Man Bahadur Gurung, and First Vice President of HAN Shreejana Rana also put forth their suggestions and views during the interaction, reads the statement.