GBIA Will Be A Game Changer: Dhakal

Having invested in tourism infrastructures including cable cars in Butwal, CHANDRA PRASAD DHAKAL, Senior vice president Of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, see the opening of Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) is going to be a major game-changer in tourism promotion and other activities in Nepal. Came to attend the inauguration of the GIBA, Dhakal spoke to New Spotlight on various issues related to GBIA and its implication for the Nepalese economy. Excerpts

May 20, 2022, 8:16 a.m.

How do you view the opening of GBIA?

This is a historic event for the country because this is the second international airport constructed over the span of 73 years. This will bring a lot of economic and other changes in the western part of Nepal. Opening of this airport is at the right time as Nepalese tourism industries have been passing through a critical time due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

As a senior vice president of FNCCI and an industrialist, how do you see its economic impact?

This will immensely contribute to accelerating the economic activities in western Nepal through tourism. The airport, which is close to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha and Buddha circuits, will likely increase the number of tourists visiting the region. Apart from this, the migrant workers will also get benefits. We can also handle big cargo here as well helping to boost our export industry here.

How do you see the investment in the tourism sector in the region?

With the opening of airports, more tourism industrialists will come to invest in the tourism sector like hotels and recreation centers to attract tourists. The opening of the airport boosts the morale of hoteliers who have already started the operation of hotels.

Have your group invested here in the tourism sector?

We are developing recreation facilities along with cable car in Butwal, which is 20 kilometers from the airport. If more flights start coming and the number of tourists increases, it will also benefit our venture.

How private sector can cooperate with Civil Aviation Authority Nepal to make the airport viable?

It is a greater interest of private parties to make the airport more busy bringing a large number of tourists here. Industrialists have already invested billions of rupees to construct the hotels and other tourism-related activities generating a large number of employment opportunities here. We want collaboration and partnership with the government to make Lumbini as a big tourism hub. This is in the interest of all of us. The government must use the Public-Private Partnership model here.

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