Ranikot: Ramesh Giri The crowds of visitors on New Year 2021 have created optimism for revival of tourism here and it has raised hope among the tourism entrepreneurs.
Though there were several predictions either the sector would recover or relapse in 2021, the signs are positive for domestic and foreign tourism in the country.
The worst-hit sector due to COVID-19 is gradually witnessing visitors flow in various places including Bhaktapur and Nagarkot areas. Most of the hotels and restaurants closed since about 10 months back in the country are witnessing guests of late.
The hotels and restaurants in Ranikot, a convergence place between Gundu and Sipadol in the district gathered a large number of tourists last night. The visitors had gathered there to welcome New Year 2021 in Nagarkot.
Nagarkot, located at an elevation of 7,200 feet on the northern fringes of the Kathmandu Valley in Bhaktapur district, is immensely popular hilltop destination. The visitors reach there to see the enchanting villages and magnificent views of the majestic Himalayas as it is the nearest destination from the most polluted cities, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.
The domestic tourists reach there for spending weekend and enjoying several occasions while foreign tourists enjoy trekking and hiking there amidst the peaceful environment. The visitors can observe a sweeping view of not only the Kathmandu Valley and Bhaktapur town but also that of the Himalayan mountain range from Ranikot.
Ranikot borders Suryabinayak Municipality of Bhaktapur and Panauti Municipality of Kavre district. It is situated at an altitude of 2,000 metres from the sea level. One can get a breath-taking view of the sunrise as well as eight mountain peaks above 8,000 metres high, including Kanchanjangha, Makalu, Sagarmatha (Mt Everest), Choyou, Sishapangma, Manaslu, Annapurna, Machchhapuchchhre, Gaurishanker, Dhawalagiri and Langtang.
Because of these reasons, Ranikot is becoming another tourist destination in Bhaktapur in recent years, said Ram Sundar Bakein, proprietor of Village Highland Resort Ranikot. Moreover, the promotion of the Suryabinayak-Ranikot-Ashapuri trekking route and the Suryabinayak-Ranikot-Phulchoki trekking trail has made this place favourite among the hikers.
According to Bakein, the crowds of domestic visitors who flocked to Ranikot to celebrate the New Year 2021 have added to the hopes of revival of tourism. He said Ranikot, which looked deserted on the Nepali New Year 2077 BS due to the risk of coronavirus, is agog with domestic tourists on the Gregorian New Year 2021.
“Ranikot is not only a historic place but also an appropriate place for sight-seeing. Visitors can come here throughout the year. It used to be crowded with visitors with sight-seeing purpose. This New Year’s Day also saw large crowds of visitors, which has motivated us,” he said.
The Village Highland Resort had to close down immediately after it came into operation last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was constructed with an investment of Rs 160 million. Hotelier Bankein said his hotel was booked seven days before and he had to send many domestic tourists to other hotels.
Big and small hotels in Nagarkot which were closed since March 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic have now started opening one after another with the beginning of the New Year (RSS).
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