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Nepal’s adventure and leisure destination, Pokhara, has been the subject of fascination for many travel enthusiasts. A gateway to the Annapurna region, today Pokhara serves as a major tourist hub.
In order to ease the traffic congestion during new year celebrations, the Pokhara Tourism Cooperation in collaboration with the district administration had banned vehicles with Indian number plates ahead of new year. This move has caused massive uproar among travel entrepreneurs.
The ban will be lifted once the traffic police is able to manage the congestion resulting from the continuous inflow of foreign vehicles.
However the former chairperson of Western Regional Hotel Association, Hari Gaire, disagreed with the decision and described it as “fatal”. He expressed his disagreement by stating that there are vehicles from other countries as well that enter the region, why are Indian vehicles being singled out?
The district administration had asked Indian tourists to cooperate with the temporary inconvenience and urged them to use local vehicles till the issue is resolved.
Chairperson Pokhara Tourism Cooperation, Chiranjivi Pokharel, stood by the decision, citing the positive impact that it would have on the local businesses including travel agencies, entrepreneurs and cab service providers. According to Pokharel, the ban has been imposed only on public vehicles and is not applicable to private vehicles. Since Indian vehicles are not aware of the parking system and routes in Nepal, they add on to the traffic problem.
The Tourism Board of Nepal had come up with an ambitious plan to increase the influx of Indian tourists by approximately 25% in 2019 and in 2020 it aims to attract nearly two million tourists.
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