Lack of tourists hits Bungmati wooden products’ business hard

Lalitpur, February 25:

The number of tourists visiting Bungmati village has declined significantly this year, which has adversely affected the woodcarving business here. The decline in the number of tourists has mostly affected the local retail shops dealing in wooden products.

Mana Devi Tuladhar, a retailer of wooden products at Bungmati, said: “This business of small-size wooden products is no longer profitable. The profits have been gradually going down for the last few years due to the decrease in number of the tourists visiting the village.”

Tuladhar said this year saw the lowest number of tourists in the area. “Four years ago, my business was very good. I made as much as Rs 30,000 a day back then. Now, it is difficult even to make a sale of Rs 2,000 in a month,” she said.

Anup Shakya, proprietor of Unique Wood Carving, said: “Small wooden products are no longer in much demand.” However, the occupation of woodcarving is not under threat despite the decrease in tourist arrivals. For many, shops provide only additional income. There is still a big demand for large wooden products in the country, Shakya said.

“What we witness in Bungmati is the microcosm of a big national problem. Woodcarving, besides agriculture, employs most people of the area,” said Ratna Man Tuladhar, former unit member of the District Development Committee, Bungmati.