Pokhara [Nepal], September 1 (ANI): The Gandaki provincial government is working on a plan to woo Indian tourists once the COVID-19 situation improves.
According to the plan, the government has kept Indian tourists at top of the list. It is to be noted that 40 per cent of tourists who visited Pokhara -- The City of Lakes -- last year were from India.
Last year, a total of 12 lakh tourists visited Pokhara. In 2018, the numbers stood at 11.73 lakhs. In both the years, Indians were at the top of the list in terms of numbers.
"Indian tourists have always remained at the top of the list compared to other tourists from foreign countries. Many of them come here to spend their vacations here and engage themselves in various adventure events like paragliding, trekking, boating and kayaking. As we lost the chance to host them, we are working to bring more Indian tourists along with foreign tourists in the coming years," said Bikash Lamsal, Provincial Tourism Minister.
"We are celebrating the year 2019-2022 as Tourism Year with a target to host two million tourists. 2019 was Domestic Tourism Year, 2020 Neighbour Tourism Year, 2021 Tourism Infrastructure Improvement Year and 2022 International Tourism Year. As the situation is not favourable, we are working on plans to cover the loss incurred this year and will be focusing on revamping efforts next year," Lamsal added.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pokhara has suffered a loss of 13 crore Nepali rupees on a daily basis as businesses have been affected due to a slump in tourists visiting the city.
A total of 10,674 business companies have shut down permanently due to the recession, according to a study conducted by the provincial government.
The tourism sector of Gandaki Province has suffered huge losses in the last four months. (ANI)