Pokhara in need of trained city tour guides

Pokhara, September 7

Tourists visiting Pokhara have been facing problems due to lack of city tour guides for long. Interestingly, even Pokhara Tourism Council does not have data that show exactly how many tour guides there are in the city.

Former member of Nepal Tourism Board and tourism entrepreneur Tikaram Sapkota rued the lack of tour guides that has hit the local tourism industry.

“As the guides are few, taxi drivers have been performing as de-facto guides. But the taxi drivers are untrained, so tourists often get inaccurate information from them about their destinations,” he said.

According to former chairperson of Pokhara Tourism Council  Dambar Bahadur KC, his office had organised training for city tour guides in Pokhara about 18 years ago for the first time.

Around 40 people, who received the training have left the sector altogether or gone to some foreign country in search of gainful jobs.

The council had organised a second training about 13 years ago. About 50 persons had attended the training, but the council doesn’t have any information and record of the then trainees.

Meanwhile, in view of the difficulty facing tourists in the absence of adequate number of trained city tour guides, the council has started a fresh training in Pokhara from today.

“For the training, we’ve selected 41 persons out of more than 100 applicants. Their training will last for 10 days,” said council chairman Som Bahadur Thapa.

As we’ve long been suffering due to lack of city tour guides, the training could be very helpful, said a tourism entrepreneur, adding that such training had played crucial role in promoting the tourism industry as a whole.

Meanwhile, tourism-related organisations of Pokhara  have expressed concern about the government’s ongoing preparations to  ban domestic tourists from travelling on green number plated vehicles.

Around  15 such organisations issued a joint statement today and rued the  government’s preparation to deprive domestic tourists of their right to  board a vehicle of their choice in the name of minimising traffic  accidents.

“Domestic tourists have been using tourist vehicles for  the sake of safety and ease. So the government’s homework to amend the  existing transportation by-law is regrettable,” read the statement.

Representatives  from Pokhara Tourism Council, Western Regional Hotel Association  Pokhara, Nepal Association of Tour Agents Pokhara, Trekking Agencies  Association of Nepal Pokhara and Restaurant and Bar Association Nepal  Pokhara, among others, have signed the statement.