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Now you will be able to walk on Phewatal

Krishna Mani Baral

Krishna Mani Baral

Now you will be able to walk on Phewatal

Tourists enjoying the view of the Annapurna range from the banks of Pokhara’s Phewatal | Krishna Mani Baral

Gandaki province gov­ernment is planning three new tourist attractions on Phewatal in an attempt to develop Pokhara as a complete tourist desti­nation. There are plans to build a multimedia-dancing fountain on Phewatal, a water-walk over the lake, and a can­opy walk to enable tourists to walk over jungles of the surrounding Raniban.

According to Bikas Lam­sal, Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forests and Environment for Gandaki, Rs 5 million budget has been apportioned for each of the three projects.

Lamsal says the provin­cial government is thinking beyond developing the prov­ince capital of Pokhara and is analyzing new projects in other districts of the province as well. This is being done in the lead up to the inter­national investment confer­ence the province is hosting in March 2019.

The provincial government has set aside a total of Rs 80 million for the Fewa Lake Conservation Program, which includes the three projects, and is working in collabora­tion with Pokhara munici­pality, according to Diwakar Poudel, the ministry spokes­person. By 2022, the pro­vincial government aims to welcome two million interna­tional tourists to Gandaki.

According to province government, tourists in Pokhara stay for an average of 2.5 days

The province foreign minis­try informs that tourists tend to stay for an average of 2.5 days in Pokhara. By introduc­ing new man-made tourist attractions without disrupting the natural beauty of the area, the goal is to make them stay longer. Local tourism entre­preneurs believe adventure activities such as paragliding, ultra-light aviation, bungee jumping, zip flying, canoeing and rafting have contributed to prolonging the Pokhara stay of tourists. The new attrac­tions will persuade even more folks to do so, they say.

Gandaki needs the permis­sion of the federal government for these endeavors as Phe­watal falls under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and Raniban forests is an ecologi­cally diverse zone. A Detailed Project Report is being pre­pared while waiting for the final permission.

Tour operators in Pokhara say that recently trekkers have been taking buses to Manang and Mustang from Kathmandu. They treat Pokhara only as a brief tran­sit before their return to the national capital. Data shows that 64 percent of interna­tional tourists come to Nepal for trekking.

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