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Incidents in Nepal to hit tourist flow

THE END of unilateral ceasefire by the banned Maoists in Nepal and the subsequent rise in bloody incidents is likely to cast its shadow on the tourist inflow in Varanasi.Sources said that due to escalation in extremist activists in Nepal since the last two days after the Maoists revoked unilateral ceasefire, the foreign tourists who visit Varanasi for their onward journey to Nepal were likely to avoid visiting tourist spots in Nepal especially Pokhara which was normally flooded with the tourists.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 00:19 IST

THE END of unilateral ceasefire by the banned Maoists in Nepal and the subsequent rise in bloody incidents is likely to cast its shadow on the tourist inflow in Varanasi.

Sources said that due to escalation in extremist activists in Nepal since the last two days after the Maoists revoked unilateral ceasefire, the foreign tourists who visit Varanasi for their onward journey to Nepal were likely to avoid visiting tourist spots in Nepal especially Pokhara which was normally flooded with the tourists.

“The Maoist activities had already spelt doom for the tourist industry in Varanasi as most tourists preferred to visit Nepal via Varanasi,” said general secretary of Government Approved Tourists Guides Association, Ajay Singh.

He said there had already been 60 per cent reduction in Japanese pilgrims to Varanasi who visit Nepal’s Lumbini area. “The fresh incident is not only going to hamper the tourist industry in Nepal but will also leave its impact in Varanasi,” he added.

“These bloody incidents did leave impact on the tourist industry in Varanasi and the current spell of extremist violence in Nepal is going to have an adverse affect on the tourist scenario here,” Abhai Singh, a leading hotelier and Treasurer of Banaras Hotel Association said. He said the unrest in Nepal had already decreased the tourist inflow into Varanasi, with tourists preferring to divert from Agra towards Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur and skip Varanasi due to Maoist violence in Nepal.

The Pokhara wing of the Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) of Nepal were on a tourism promotion campaign here recently. The delegation comprised mediapersons, members of travel and hotel industry besides the Nepal government tourist officials.

The issue of unfavourable security atmosphere in Nepal dominated the interaction with the members of the delegation trying their best to convince that the security scenario was not against tourist inflow in their country.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 00:19 IST