Local governments falling behind in developing tourism sector


By Prem Raj Simkhada,Kalikot, Feb. 25: Kalikot district is known as a hard-to-reach rural district because of tough geographical terrain and lack of proper roads. However, this district has many religious and natural attractions, making it an ideal place for tourists to visit.

Locals had expected that after the setup of local governments, they would promote such places and construct necessary infrastructures to make them easily accessible. 

The local governments have been keeping “tourism development” in their annual plans every year, asserting cooperation between provincial and federal governments, and assuring steps have been taken in the sector. However, the results of these actions have not been visible yet.

Mahawai Rural Municipality chairman Khem Bahadur Singh informed that they have been identifying new tourism destinations and promoting the existing ones in the best way they could.

“We have prioritised the promotion of Mahabudham, which also borders Dailekh, among other districts. 

It is also said that the Sanni Triveni Rural Municipality of Kalikot and Badimalika Municipality of Bajura have been coordinating with each other alongside the provincial and federal governments to promote and develop tourism sites like Badimalika and Triveni Patan.

“We have moved forward towards tourism development with inter-municipality cooperation. We will be spending jointly on infrastructural developments for it,” said Parbati Singh, vice chairperson of Sanni Triveni.

“Many tourism and religious places of Kalikot district lie in bordering areas, making it compulsory for different local and provincial governments to coodinate,” Singh added.

While Kalikot’s Pachal Waterfall, claimed to be the highest waterfall in Asia, was listed in the “100 destinations in Nepal”, neighbouring places, like Badimalika, Tilagufa, Rudu Banchu and Panchadewal, among others, lie in obscurity.

The previous local government had organsied a fair at Pachal Waterfall by spending around Rs. 50 million. However, the local level was unable to welcome tourists from outside the district. 

Locals said that the local governments were not coordinating for development and promotion of tourism destinations as they claimed.

Tilagufa Municipality Mayor Shankar Prasad Upadhyaya said that the municipality had allocated a budget of Rs. 800,000 to develop tourism sites like Tilagufa and Rudu Banchu in their area. 

“We have also requested more budget from the provincial government. We will also increase our investment in the tourism sector,” said Mayor Upadhyaya.

Nevertheless, local governments have seen organisation of fair as the only way to attract tourists to the district. Locals and experts stressed that the local governments should utilise digital platforms and technologies to promote the tourism destinations in the digital age.

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