Kathmandu: Most of the participating stakeholders including parliamentarians speaking during an interaction program held in Kathmandu Thursday blamed the government for being indifferent to the development and promotion of tourism in the Karnali region, despite the abundance of attractive tourist destinations.
The interaction program organized by the Tourism Development Committee of Karnali state at the secretariat of Nepal Visit Year 2020 revealed that only 12,00,0 tourists (1%) out of 1.2 million tourists, who visited Nepal in 2018 had visited Karnali.
Various speakers said that Karnalai has not been able to promote its tourism sector, although the famous tourist destinations like Mugu’s Rara Lake, Surkhet’s Kakre Bihar, Dolpa and Humla are there to attract both internal and international tourists.
The participants also indicated that a favorable condition for a more number of tourists to enter Karnali, the main tourist hub, on the eve of the visit year 2020 has not been made due to lack of infrastructure in the region.
Speaking during the same program, Prof. Dr. Nanda Bahadur Sing opined that Karnali province was left behind by its leaders by allocating more budget for one’s district and negligible budget for other districts.
Former minister Janardhan Sharma expressed that the Karnali region lagged in development and prosperity because the people of Karnali could not exploit the natural resources available there.
Sharma also suggested that the people of Karnali pay more attention to drawing the attention of tourists for the development of Karnali by focusing on a sustained plan for the promotion of tourism in Karnali.
Minister for Forest and Environment Shakti Basnet hinted that both the local people of Karnali and the government were responsible for the least development and progress of Karnali.
“Existent and latent possibilities of tourism in Karnali are not only beneficial for Karnali but also the whole country. So, a sustainable strategic plan must be designed to attract more tourists and prolong their stay in Karnali” said Basnet.
Minister Basnet suggested all to focus on the promotion of tourism in Karnali in the wake of the visit year 2020 and to initiate the development of infrastructures
Speaking during the same program, the secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mohan Sapkota said that all should collectively work together to promote and sustain the tourism in Karnali.
The participants also suggested that the Karnali state government should step up for an integrated promotional activity for Karnali tourism and development of infrastructures in coordination with the Federal government.