By Narayan Adhikari, Chitwan, Jan 16: Tourism entrepreneurs here are dedicated to promoting domestic tourism after a drastic slump in the number of foreign visitors. In this connection, the entrepreneurs have launched the 'Let Us Visit Sauraha' campaign along with various activities to attract the visitors.
A 'selfie point' has been constructed at Sauraha as part of this campaign where the visitors can take selfie with the background that reflects the local identity. The Selfie Point is constructed in the premises of Sunset View Restaurant on the bank of the Rapti River. It is drawing the visitors.
It is said the visitors both young and old alike take photos and their selfie at the Selfie Point.
"The name of the place 'Sauraha' is written at the back in attractive letters at the spot with the Chitwan National Park providing the background when one takes selfie at this spot. Although constructed at a small investment, the Selfie Point has become a hit with visitors in Sauraha," said
Deependra Khatiwada, president of Restaurant and Bar Association of Nepal (REBAN) Sauraha chapter.
According to him, around 300 visitors come to the Selfie Point to click photos and it has developed into a kind of local brand.
Entrepreneurs here are upbeat as tourism business that was badly dented due to the coronavirus pandemic has started picking up these days.
The number of visitors coming to Sauraha for overnight stay has reached around 600 a day while the number of tourists coming only for an excursion in the area is more than 1,500.
Meanwhile, the hotels and restaurants from the federal capital Kathmandu and other cities in the country have started opening their branches in Chitwan.
Diyalo Foodland which has earned a name in the capital and in Butwal for its dishes has opened its franchise here from January 14.
From tourist hotels to party palaces, to coffee shops and bakery cafes have started opening their chain here in Chitwan. Hotels, restaurants, eateries, coffee houses mainly from Kathmandu and Pokhara are opening their branches. They include the tourist hotels Landmark and Barahi of Pokhara and the Kathmandu Guest House of Kathmandu. Likewise, the Chaudhary Group is operating the Meghauli Serai in Meghauli and Fern Chain Hotel in Bharatpur. Also opening their branches here include bakeries and cafes like Kathmandu Bakery, Himalayan Java, Backforest, and Katti Roll.
Former president of the Regional Hotel Association Sauraha, Suman Ghimire, said many hotels, restaurants, bakeries and cafes are interested in expanding to Chitwan as they see growing business prospects here.
Chitwan which is famous for jungle safari tourism will see many more chain hotels and restaurants in the coming days, an enthusiastic Ghimire said.