POKHARA : Pokhara’s tourism sector has signaled a revival after six months since the COVID-19 pandemic halted tourism in the country.
The popular Mardi Himal Trek has begun to see an inflow of domestic tourists, said Raju Poudel, owner of Hotel Snowland and Spa at Mardi Himal high camp, adding that it indicates hope for the tourism sector in coming days.
“More than 100 foreign and domestic tourists would visit the area in the past. Now there is not a situation for foreign tourists to come in due to the pandemic. But we have prioritised domestic tourism,” he said. The government had announced the ‘Visit Nepal Year, 2020’ which aimed to bring in 2 million tourists.
Tourist activities such as paragliding, bungee jumping and zip line have also resumed after a six month break. Chairperson of the Nepal Airports Association Krishna Bhandari said that paragliding has resumed, and that discussions with pilots and companies are underway to follow health safety protocols like the use of masks and sanitizers while flying a paraglider.
The process to add tourist vehicles targeting the year is also underway, said chairperson of Nepal Tourist Transport Entrepreneurs Association in Gandaki State, Bobar Jung Gurung. Lately, tourist vehicles worth Rs 500 million have been purchased targeting the Visit Year, he said. Pokhara has around 600 well-equipped hotels and approximately Rs 15 billion has been invested in hotel infrastructures.