LALITPUR, Dec 18: The flow of visitors in Patan Museum has towered since Fiscal Year 2016/17 and this is mainly because of the new entry fee policy put in place by the Lalitpur Metropolitan City.
The metropolis incorporated the museum entry fee into the Patan Durbar Square entry fee in on September 17 last year.
The number of visitors soared by 3.8 times to 176,906 in FY2016/7 compared to 46,583 in FY2015/16, according to museum officials.
“There has been a tremendous increase in visitor footfalls in the museum since September last year. The flow has increased by nearly four times,” said Museum Officer of Patan Museum, Suresh Man Lakhe. Lakhe further added: “A majority of visitors to the museum are international tourists. As the entry fee of the museum has been incorporated into the Patan Durbar Square entry fee, this has helped to increase the flow of tourists into the museum.”
According to a journal published by the Patan Museum Development Committee, the number of Nepalis, who visited the museum nearly doubled to 24,219 in FY2016/17 as opposed to 12,960 in the previous year. Likewise, the number of Nepali students has also increased by more than two times, increasing from 19,908 in FY2015/16 to 43,857 in FY 2016/17. Similarly, the number of tourists from China and SAARC countries has surged by nearly five times -- from 3,515 in the FY2015/16 to 17,110 in the following year. Moreover the number of foreign tourists ballooned by nine times to 91,718 in FY2016/17 from 10,200 in FY2015/16.
“The number of visitors dipped following the earthquakes of 2015 and the unofficial blockade by India. However, it has now risen dramatically. The surge in the number of internal tourists could be mainly due to the increase in exhibitions and other programs being held on the museum premises over the past few years,” explained Lakhe.
Similarly, Rabina Shakya, a museum official, stated that an average of 300-400 foreign tourists, about 200 Nepali citizens and between 50 and 100 from SAARC/China visited the museum on a daily basis over the first five months of the current fiscal year.
With the incorporation of Patan Museum into the entry fee of Patan Durbar Square, tourists get an opportunity to experience and observe the antiques of Nepal, say tour guides. “With the inclusion of the museum in the visit of Patan Durbar Square, tourists get an irresistible opportunity to delve deep into the history of Nepal's ancient and medieval past,” said Naresh Man Shrestha, an Italian tour guide. “Prior to this, tourists had to pay Rs 750 to enter the Patan Durbar Square and an additional Rs 400 to enter the museum. Many tourists would show reluctance to pay extra money. However, this is not the case now,” added Shrestha.
“Similarly, it has been even easier, as we can now take tourists to exquisite courtyards on the palace premises such as Sundari Chowk, Mul Chowk, Bhandarkhal Chowk and Mani Keshab Narayan Chowk with the same entrance ticket allowing tourists to explore more of Nepalese wood and stone works,” explained Shrestha.
Lakhe however stated that the influx of visitors created challenges for the museum officials. “We now have to focus more on human resources, expenditure and cleanliness of the museum,” he added.