KATHMANDU, May 10: Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) has criticized major political parties for not giving sufficient space to tourism in their manifestos for the upcoming local level polls.
In an open letter to candidates, the professional body of tour operators said it was disappointed to see candidates not giving due importance to tourism which is one of the mainstays of Nepali economy.
If given due priority, tourism can work wonders for beneficiaries in destinations like Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Pokhara, Chitwan, Solukhumbu, Lamjung, Manang, Lumbini and Mustang, among others, according to Amar Bahadur Shahi, the general secretary of NATO. “But it is frustrating to note that none of the candidates in these destinations have raised issues and problems of the tourism sector,” the letter reads.
High entry fee, hassles by beggars and street vendors and heavy traffic in cultural heritage sites, among others, are creating problems for tourists in major tourist destinations. Likewise, lack of proper parking space, clean restrooms, and foreign currency exchange counters are the other problems that are troubling tourists, according to Shahi.
“Though some parties have put metro rail and trams in their manifestos, they lack a clear vision for executing these projects,” NATO said in the letter.