Maoists: UPites give Nepal a skip
?TO NEPAL? No. Not any more,? will be the reply of travel buffs nowadays. No wonder, the number of Nepal travellers from city has dropped to just a family a month, thanks to the Maoists and internal dissensions which have knocked the Himalayan kingdom off the choice list. So, gone are the days when there used to be a queue of travellers from Lucknow to Nepal.india Updated: Feb 05, 2006 01:36 IST
“TO NEPAL? No. Not any more,” will be the reply of travel buffs nowadays.
No wonder, the number of Nepal travellers from city has dropped to just a family a month, thanks to the Maoists and internal dissensions which have knocked the Himalayan kingdom off the choice list. So, gone are the days when there used to be a queue of travellers from Lucknow to Nepal.
The tourist traffic to Nepal from Lucknow in the past six months has been just one family a month daring to visit the troubled land! The Maoist terror and general law and order problems in the Himalayan Kingdom are taking a heavy toll on tourist traffic.
Worried officials of the ‘Nepal Tourism Board’ in Kathmandu keeps on e-mailing headers by the name of ‘Situation Update’ to tour operators in Lucknow.
One of the e-mails read like this on January 23: “The existing curfew in the areas within the Ring Road of Kathmandu metropolis and Lalitpur Sub-metropolis is brought to an end effective from today evening. This is stated in separate notices issued today by CDOs of Kathmandu and Lalitpur. Meanwhile ‘post paid’ mobile phones resumed its service from today evening.”
The e-mail read further: “To effectively respond to the problems of tourists and tourism entrepreneurs in Nepal and abroad that they may come across, the Nepal Tourism Board has taken a holistic approach to address these problems by running its Media Centre round-the-clock which is manned by efficient staff.”
In 2003, the average tourist traffic movement to Nepal from Lucknow compared to other parts of Uttar Pradesh was as high as 25 per cent. “In 2004, when Nepal started having severe internal law and order problems, the tourist traffic from Lucknow fell to 10 per cent. Right now, its just one family of say four persons are daring to visit Nepal on a holiday per month!”, Vivek Pandey, branch head of Express Holidays, a unit of Delhi Express Travels Ltd, told HT.
He said there were barely two to three package tours for Nepal being booked from Uttar Pradesh in a month with an average of only five families visiting the Himalayan Kingdom.
In 2005, it was a mere 10 families. “The booking situation has in fact worsened now for Nepal tourist packages,” Pandey said.
“Tour operators in UP are waiting to book more tourists for packages to Nepal. The ones suffering the most right now are tour operators based in Nepal,” he added.