Pokhara city turns to new year celebration destination as heavy crowd amassed here at Lakeside. Celebrating new year’s eve with Pokhara Street Festival, public from various parts of country and around the city itself as well as foreigners poured in in hea y number. The tourism entrepreneurs here expressed their delight as a trend is being set to celebrate new year at Pokhara and thus turning the off season On.
Decorated 3.5km road with scintillating lights and street food along with music attracted a huge number of spectators. The chairman of Western Hotel Association, Mr. Bikal Tulachan told that street festival attracted more internal spectators than international spectators. Tulachan also informed that about 30/35 thousands guests reside in various tourist standard hotel in a single night during festival. He added that a significant presence of internal as well as indian visitors is observed in the ongoing festival.
The standard hotels in Pokhara charge from 1000 to 10000 rupees for a night stay. The tourists often complain that some hotels hike upto 4 times the regular price during new year. Even though the hotel association here refuses such claim, some hotels seem to disobey the law. Ganesh Bhattrai, a tourism entrepreneur believes that such practice is harmful to tourism industry and if found guilty should be strictly punished.
Chau Bahadur Gurung, chairman of REBAN said that the organising of street festival has helped inflow of significant number of tourists even during the tourism off season of December and January. He also added that the hotels and restaura here become busy during the street festival and this one week period gives huge releif to business.
The number of flights to Pokhara also have increased during new year due to increase in tourists. As per Mr. Kashiram Subedi, Information officer of Civil Aviation Office Kaski, about 30pc increase in air flight is observed since few days. Similalrly the number of passengers in tourist and local buses also have increased travelling to Pokhara from Kathmandu and other parts of country. Tourist arriving to celebrate English New Year is the reason for such pressure, said Mr. Dilli Gautam, Chairman of Western Regional NATTA Pokhara.
Pokhara woke up till midnight to welcome new year on Sunday. Mantra Band from India, Nabin K Bhattarai, Trishna Gurung were among the artist who performed till 12am midnight said Mr. Laxman Baral, sub coordinator of the festival. The main stage at Komagane Park and streets were already packed from evening.
The festival running for 4 days will come to an end on Monday.