By Laxman Paudel, Bhairawa Rising Nepal
Lumbini Apr. 2: With an aim to attract domestic tourists to Lumbini, budget-friendly packages have been rolled out by Lumbini Hotel Association for the target groups.
The Chairperson of the Lumbini Hotel Association, Mithun Man Shrestha has said that such packages will be offered from mid-April.
Shrestha added that domestic tourism alone will not suffice for tourism-related businesses. There must be a conducive atmosphere for Indian tourists to visit Lumbini as well. The budget-friendly packages have also been designed for Indian tourists.
Chairperson Shrestha also said that in the areas of Lumbini, Butwal, Belhiya large hotels had opened as they expected a lot of tourists in the region. The cheap packages are important to attract tourists for a longer duration.
After the effect of the Coronavirus had decreased domestic tourism in Lumbini had revived. Tourism-related business persons have highlighted that packages could have an important contribution towards increasing foreign tourism as well. Lumbini was shut down for visitors the last April and was re-opened on November 18 of last year.
The Chief Administrative Officer of Lumbini Development Trust Gyanin Rai has said that from November 18 to 30 March 2.5 million visitors had visited Lumbini. Other than a few Indian tourists there have been very few foreign tourists.
“The only foreign tourists that are visiting Lumbini are ambassadors and persons involved in diplomatic missions from other countries, other than them we have barely had any foreign tourists,” Rai said mentioned that the package could help increase foreign tourists.
According to Rai, a good number of tourists have visited Lumbini ever since it was opened after the lockdown. If this good flow of visitors continues Lumbini could return to its former glory. As compared to Saturday 1000 extra tourists come to Lumbini from Sunday to Friday.
Most tourists visiting Lumbini are from the neighbouring areas of Bhairawa, Butwal, Kapilvastu and Nawalparasi. The people of Rupandehi, Nawalparasi and Kapilvastu upon identification are not charged for entering Maya Devi temple but for the rest, a fee is charged.
The number of tourists is counted based on this entry procedure. Most of the tourists that come to Lumbini also visit the Maya Devi temple.
The visitors are mainly attracted by Ashok Pillar, Holy Pushkarani Kunda, various national and international monasteries, world peace lamp and Nauka monastery. The tourists are also attracted by various colourful flowers that bloom during the spring season and various birds. Lumbini has more than 450 species of birds.