POKHARA, Dec 17: Tourism entrepreneurs have urged the newly elected leaders of the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies to prioritize tourism as the major sector of the country's economy.
They asked the newly elected lawmakers to help them lift the tourism sector, which was hard hit by the earthquake of 2015 and the Indian blockade in the same year.
Speaking at an event organized here in Pokhara to felicitate the newly elected lawmakers, tourism entrepreneurs of the lake city asked them to work toward protecting the investments made in the tourism sector, and focus on building infrastructure and formulating tourism-friendly policies.
Bikal Tulachan, chairman of Paschimanchal Hotel Association, asked the lawmakers to help improve the tourism sector that has not yet fully recovered from the effects of earthquake and blockade.
“As many as 25,000 people have been employed directly in the tourism sector in the city alone, and this is because of the investments made in this sector,” said Tulachan, adding that there was need to protect the investors who have injected huge amounts of money in this sector.
He also demanded that the government completed works of preservation of cultural heritages immediately, and built infrastructures such as roads, bridges, and bus terminals among others.
Members of the House of Representatives Rabindra Adhikari and Jagat Biswakarma, and members of provincial parliament Man Bahadur Gurung, Rajiv Pahari, Ramji Baral, and Bindu Kumar Thapa were felicitated at the event.
The lawmakers promised to work toward addressing the concerns of the tourism entrepreneurs. Bindu Kumar Thapa said that economic development and prosperity of the country were the only priorities for the political leadership now. “I will focus on road upgradation, traffic management and making the Pokhara a film city. I will also work toward development of sports,” said Thapa.
Rajib Pahari said that they will stop using the Himagriha as a government residence but will rather preserve it as a tourism product. “It is not good for the people's representative to stay at the palace of former king,” added Pahari.
The association's former chairman Bharat Raj Parajuli said that they will protest if the government decided to make Himagriha a government residence. “We have long been demanding not to use it that way. It has a great value as a tourism product,” added Parajuli.