POKHARA, Nov 11: Pokhara and Bharatpur metropolitan cities have announced collaboration for promotion of tourism, targeting both international and domestic tourists.
Chitwan district, where Bharatpur is located, is important destination for wildlife tourism, whereas Pokhara is famous for scenic view of lakes and mountains. Chitwan National Park of Chitwan is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Pokhara is Nepal's major tourist city. Mayors of the two metropolitan cities, after signing an agreement for collaboration, said that both the cities will benefit from the collaboration.
Besides tourism promotion, the collaboration is expected to boost overall economic and social activities, conservation of natural heritage, and transfer of information.
Man Bahadur GC and Renu Dahal, mayors of Pokhara and Bharatpur of metropolitan cities, signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard on Sunday. The two cities had also signed an accord of sisterhood relation back in 2015.
According to Mayor Dahal, the agreement was made targeting Visit Nepal Year 2020. Tourists who reach Chitwan will be encouraged to visit Pokhara and vice versa, according to Dahal. She added that more tourist places were being explored and developed in Bharatpur. The metropolitan has identified 27 new destinations.
“Both Pokhara and Chitwan are tourist destinations of the country. Collaboration between the two will surely benefit us all,” said Dahal. Besides wildlife and forests, Chitwan has other possibilities in education, health, agriculture, and technology, she added.
According to Mayor GC, though the agreement was not detailed enough, it would be totally put into implementation. Exchange visits of civil servants between the two metropolitans would be an important beginning point of the cooperation, GC added.
He also stressed on building appropriate infrastructure for tourism and providing targeted service to high-end tourists.
Stating that domestic tourists spend more than foreign tourists in recent times, he called upon tourism entrepreneurs to give special attention to those high-spending tourists. “We need to make tourists eager to visit our place by themselves, rather than us calling them to visit,” he said.
According to tourism expert Biswa Raj Subedi, tourists generally stayed in Chitwan for two nights and three days, which could be extended to three nights and four days with a little effort from the concerned people.
“Jeep, elephant, boat safari, jungle safari are old activities. We are starting new destinations in the district, so there should be new activities,” he said.
According to Basu Tripathi, former member of Nepal Tourism Board and tourism entrepreneur of Pokhara, the collaboration would benefit all. Likewise, Ganga Lal Subedi, head administrative officer of Pokhara metropolitan city, said that tourism packages will be developed to encourage tourists to stay longer in both the cities.