A view of the hospitality industry of Pokhara
According to the statistics of the responsible Ministry of Gandaki province, an average of 440 foreign tourists enter Pokhara every day. 230 of them are from India. The province of Gandaki plans to celebrate the year 2022 as the “Pokhara Tourism Year”. To embrace this plan, the provincial government has begun to duly document the arrival of tourists.
Speaking to a national newspaper, Bishnu Bhandari, secretary of the Gandaki Provincial Ministry of Tourism, said, “Tourist data gathering can help us develop appropriate strategies for tourism development in the province.” Records of tourist arrivals in a scientific way can have a positive impact on the tourism industry. Scientific data collection can provide a precise number of tourists, which can be helpful to both entrepreneurs and the government.
There is the potential for more visitors
This alone can only be supportive and much more important is the improvement of the infrastructure. The construction of the International Airport in Pokhara is a first step in this direction and also the development of the national road system has been promoted for several years with various projects. These factors are of enormous importance in order to increase visitor numbers in the next few years. From the tourism industry perspective, Pokhara has the potential to handle up to 2000 visitors a day. There are more than 1000 hotels and inns in Lakeside Pokhara, with an average of 20 beds, meaning that there are at least 20,000 beds available for visitors of Pokhara.
Pokhara has been growing a lot in the last decade
Pokhara has been investing heavily in hospitality for a decade, and more and more hotels and restaurants are opening their doors in Lakeside. The expected onslaught on tourists but so far remained. The number of visitors increased only insignificantly during this period. This is also due to the lack of infrastructure and complicated journey to Pokhara. A bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara can take up to 10 hours, which is twice as long as it should be for the 200km distance. The growing traffic and poor road conditions are the main reason why it takes so long.
Flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara are disproportionately expensive for tourists and cost $ 120. Here is room for improvement and as long as the International Airport in Pokhara has not been completed, flights should be cheaper. A return flight from Kathmandu to Bangkok Thailand costs only about $ 300 and here a round-trip flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara would be almost as expensive. We can not say how to change that, but it would be a good idea to make traveling to Pokhara more attractive.