Tourist flow to Hanumandhoka up despite rallies, bandhs

Kathmandu, February 14:

Rallies, violence and curfews notwithstanding, the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square Area has been witnessing an increase in the number of tourists, the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square Area Conservation Programme (HDSACP) under the Kathmandu Metropolitan City said.

“Though we had expected some 9,000 tourists during the month of Magh (January 14-February 12), disturbances caused by curfews and rallies limited the number to 5,384,” said Suraj Shakya, member-secretary of the HDSACP, told this daily today.

During the same period last year, 5,207 tourists — from countries outside SAARC region — had visited the square.

While 102 tourists from the SAARC region visited the square last year, 105 tourists from the region visited the square during the same period this year. Except for the month of Shrawan, the square has been witnessing a steady increase in the number of tourists. The HDSACP has collected Rs 12,897,100 as entry fees from the tourists within the first seven months of this fiscal year. Shakya said more tourists will come here if the rallies and such events are done away with.

The concerned authorities should ban all the political and other activities that keep the tourists away, Shakya further said.

Instead of entertaining the tourists, western-style events distract the tourists, Shakya said.

The HDSACP has been doing its best to increase revenue by creating a favourable environment for the tourists, Shakya said.

“We are also thinking of launching advertisements at the international level to attract more tourists in Nepal.” Movement of noisy vehicles in the area has also been deterring the tourists from visiting the area. “Over six months ago, we submitted a report to the KMC, suggesting measures that can be taken up to attract more tourists here. Nothing has come out of it.”

Entry fees collected from the tourists have been utilised for conserving and beautifying the area, Shakya said.