VN secretariat urges stakeholders to take ownership of campaign

Rajbiraj, February 16

The Visit Nepal 2020 campaign secretariat for Province 2 has urged stakeholders to take ownership of the campaign to ensure its success.

The VN 2020 secretariat for Province 2 held a meeting here today with tourism stakeholders and local government requesting them to take the ownership of the campaign.

“Saptari district has enough potential to be developed into a religious tourist hub, but lack of ownership has affected the tourism industry in this province,” said Manish Jha, VN 2020 coordinator for Province 2.

He further opined that the stakeholders should not just depend on the government for development and that the tourism entrepreneurs in the province must take initiatives to make the industry more professional and commercial.

“Build tourist standard hotels, provide quality services, keep your areas clean and make it attractive,” he suggested.

“We have several 2,000- to 3,000-year-old religious destinations in this district, but due to our own negligence we are lagging behind,” Jha said. “From building tourism infrastructure to providing quality services, there are a lot of areas where we have to improve.”

He further stressed on the need to develop new destinations rather than simply depending on the government to take the initiative first.

Responding to Jha, Shailesh Chaudhary, president of Hotel Entrepreneurs Association of Province 2, said that lack of quality tourists had discouraged investors from investing in the tourism sector in the district.

“Mostly religious tourists from India visit here and most of them come here for a very short visit and stay at dharamshala — a place built for religious travellers to stay,” he said adding, “They don’t prefer hotels for food and accommodation.”

Meanwhile, the hotels are surviving due to few domestic tourists who travel to Saptari district to attend religious events, he added. As per Chaudhary, currently there are only three tourist standard hotels and 30 lodges in the Saptari district.

Amid this, Sadhana Jha, deputy mayor of Rajbiraj Municipality, vowed to develop Saptari as a religious hub. She urged the stakeholders to come up with their plans and said that the municipality will execute them.

Chinnamasta temple, Kankali temple, Rajdevi temple, Hanumanthan, Kanakanpatti Palace, Dakneswori Bhagwati, Khodar Devi Cave along with Koshi River are the major attractions in the district.