From Khaptad National Park to Saipal Himalayas and National Wildlife Reserve, the Far western Region has enormous possibilities to attract foreign tourists. Even the Jakhor Tal, a lake, of Kailali district is a potential draw.
Despite the potentiality, the region has remained out of sight of visitors. Aiming to inform the world on this, Destination Far Western Region has been launched as a campaign. In an interaction program organized to promote the Jhakhor Tal of Kailali, various speakers highlighted the potential of the Kailali District as tourist draw.
“There is an enormous possibility to attract many tourists with destinations like the Jhakhor Tal. What we lack is a long term strategy to promote tourism. We are ready to invest to build tourism infrastructure in the far west,” said Gopal Hamal, Central Member of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
Another businessman said, “After successfully establishing the slogan, the Destination Far West, the time has come now to market the tourism potential of far west region. We will continue to support any effort to bring tourism pie to the far west,” said Dinesh Raj Bhandari president of FNCCI Kailali District.
Along with the expansion of the airport in Dhangadhi, a number of good hotels have come up in Kailali district. Jakhor Tal of Kailali holds out hope to become an attraction for tourists as it lies in the center of the far western region.
“The time has come to construct infrastructure for Jhakhor Tal. It is the right place for investment as the area surrounding the lake is very attractive,” said Maya Prakas Bhatta, managing director of Jagdamba Hotel. According to records, very nominal tourists are visiting the far western region.
“We need to formulate a master plan for the Jahkhor Tal with a clear policy such as where to get the permission to start the project and all that,” said Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Managing Director of Devotee Hotel.
At the program attended by various stakeholders, district based government officials also took part in the discussions.
“There is a need to make an all-out effort from all the people in the district to promote the Tal,” said Chief District Officer Kailash Kumar Bajimaya.
“Dhangadhi Municipality is ready to provide all kinds of support to make the Tal a tourist destination,” said Narayan Prasad Pandey, executive officer of Dhangadhi Municipality. “Far west has enough flora and fauna,” said Satya Narayan Chaudhari, field director of Western Terai Arc Land Project.
Kailali District general secretary of Community Forestry Users Group Nepal Radhika Malla stressed the need of community participation. District Forest Officer Hemanta Sha said the forest department is ready to hand over the land to community.
Senior Superintendent of Police Bijaya Raj Bhatta, tourism expert Surya Saran Regmi and Bimal Dahal also attended the program.
At the function chaired by this reporter, who is also the chairman of Far-Western Region Media Development Center, various other speakers including the local media persons, members of community forestry user groups, and tourism experts attended the program. Editor of Sudur Pashchim Daily Mohan Sharma delivered the introductory remarks where participants discussed on the issue.