RUKUM, April 3: The Bafikot Rural Municipality of Rukum has started preparing a five-year master plan for tourism development.
Officials of the rural municipality said they realized the need to prepare a master plan to make optimum benefits from tourism attractions like Syarpu Lake in Western Rukum which is regarded as one of the best attractions in Karnali Province.
"Along with Syarpu Lake, there are numerous tourist attractions in the district. The master plan will made needful planning to develop these areas into a proper tourist destination," Dharma Bahadur KC, chairperson of the rural municipality, said. "With the preparation of the master plan, we will make concrete efforts to promote the district as a tourist destination.”
By formulating detailed plans for development and promotion of religious, natural, cultural, and adventure tourism, KC is hopeful of changing socio-economic status of the area through tourism.
"It is becoming difficult for us to promote different destinations in the lack of proper planning. The master plan will help us to make tourism development and promotion efforts systematic," he added.
Similarly, Mahesh Gurung, chief administrative officer of the rural municipality, said that the need to conserve Syarpu Lake will also be taken into account while preparing the master plan. "We are taking inputs and suggestions of water resources expects in this regard," he added.
Most of the local units in the district are prioritizing tourism as they believe it is the only sector that can contribute to socio-economic development of their respective areas. "Once the master plan becomes ready, we can allocate budget for specific projects and works accordingly," Gurung added.
The rural municipality has already held series of interactions with local representatives and other stakeholders to prepare the master plan. It recently organized a three-day interaction to collect suggestions from different stakeholders.
It has been learnt that tourism expert Somat Ghimire and water resources expert Dipak Lochan are working with the rural municipality to prepare the master plan. The master plan will be put to implementation once it is approved by the rural municipality.