Preparation for Visit Nepal 2020 in Parsa “absolutely zero”Hotel entrepreneurs and campaigners lament that the major tourist hubs in the district are left in the shadows.
With Visit Nepal 2020 just around the corner, locals and entrepreneurs of Parsa district have lamented the authorities’ poor preparation for the signature tourism year.
Hari Panta, chair of the Parsa Hotel and Tourism Entrepreneurs’ Association, said that the preparation so far for the upcoming tourism year is ‘absolutely zero’.
“Just because a quartet of people get together and post a couple of selfies on social media platforms doesn’t mean preparations are on,” he said. “A couple of seminars may have been organised in star hotels in the name of Visit Nepal 2020, but that will not do much to promote tourism in the district.”
Panta said that the government could have utilised the amount spent in seminars to actually identify and promote the major tourist destinations in the district.
The Birgunj Metropolis had founded a committee to promote the city for the tourism year following pressure from the federal government. Noting that he once used to be a part of the committee, Panta said that not a single meeting has taken place since its formation. Panta and three other members of the committee have already resigned from their positions.
Panta added that the tourism year won’t be a success with the effort of hotel entrepreneurs only. “Our only responsibility is to provide good service to the visiting tourists,” he said. “The onus is on the state to promote the destinations and create a good environment so that more tourists would come.”
In view of the upcoming campaign, a local drive Visit Madhes was also conceived a while back. Om Prakash Sarraf, the coordinator of the programme, said that the district is home to many tourist hubs, but they remain in the shadows. “If we can promote the great features of Parsa National Park, we can draw a significant footfall,” he said. Citing other major hubs such as Thhori homestay, Parasnath Math and Koilabhar, Sarraf said that the places hold plenty of prospects, but they are yet to be explored as a tourist attraction.
“We have started identifying and promoting the destinations in whatever ways we can, but there needs to be a larger initiative as well,” said Sarraf.
Birgunj Mayor Bijay Kumar Sarawagi said the metropolis office is ‘very positive’ in promoting the district for the Visit Nepal Year 2020. Sarawagi said that the metropolis office has allocated Rs 1 million for various programmes to promote tourism.
“There will be various kinds of programmes year-round for the Visit Nepal Year 2020,” he said.