KATHMANDU, April 16: Travel agents and hoteliers say as more Nepalis show preferences to travel to different parts of the country even during off seasons they are making special efforts and packages to serve them in a bid to boost their business during the upcoming lean period in tourism.
Travel agents are also revising itineraries and developing new destinations to suit the budget and taste of local travelers.
The new initiatives were taken after travel agents and tour operators observed 20 percent growth in bookings of domestic tour packages by local visitors during this period compared to same period last year.
Entrepreneurs said more Nepalis were travelling to major tourist destination this year because of change in lifestyle, rise in income and aggressive marketing by different travel and tour agencies. Basanta Raj Mishra, executive chairman of Venture Travels said corporate houses were also contributing towards the growth by organizing conferences outside the capital. “Besides, schools and colleges are also organizing frequent tours that have contributed towards the growth” he said.
As a result of increased travels, entrepreneurs said they are facing difficulties accomodating them.
For instance, Mishra, who also operates Temple Tiger in Chitwan said that the occupancy of his hotel was close to 100 percent till Saturday because of Nepali New Year. Similarly, other tour operators said they were facing difficulties to arrange rooms for the travelers in places like Bandipur, Pokhara, Chitwan, Dhulikhel and Nagarkot as the pressure of domestic travelers was high.
CN Pandey, CEO of Samrat Tours said there was a rise of 20 percent in sales of domestic tour packages“ "Majority of travelers still prefer easy destinations like Chitwan and Pokhara whereas college students also are going for short treks," he added.
Travel agents said the pressure of domestic traveler was high during weekends and public holidays "As nearby destination can be traveled for a holiday of a day or two, local travelers have started traveling during weekends as well," Pandey said.
Along with the attraction in domestic packages, Nepali travelers have also started accommodating in home-stay.
Bijay Pradhan, managing director of Dream Nepal said that a good number of local tourists were choosing home-stay packages for new experience. Dream Nepal is offering home stay tour packages in the places like Chitlang and Titsung of Makwanpur districts.
"As number of local as well as foreigners is increasing in home-stay we are launching these packages in new places as well," added Pradhan. He further said that the agency was soon launching home stay tour packages in Meghauli of Chitwan district.