The Shuklaphanta Festival has kicked off in Kanchanpur district from today in a bid to attract as many as tourists in the Shuklaphanta National Park. The Bhimdutta Municipality organized the Festival that aims to promote the National Park that sprawls on an area of 305 square kilometres in the extreme south-eastern section of Kanchanpur district and is home to wide variety of flora and faunas as well as rich vegetation.
The Park was a hunting reserve initially in the 1969 and was turned into a National Park in 2017, according to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. Inaugurating the Festival, District Coordination Committee, Kanchanpur Chief Durga Dutta Bohara spoke of the need to develop the National Park as a tourist destination. “We have rare species of wildlife in our Shuklaphanta National Park. It is imperative we promote this Park and develop this place as the destination for external and domestic tourists,” said Bohara, calling for contribution from all quarters towards this end.
Bhimdutta Municipality Mayor Padam Bogati expressed his confidence that this Festival would aid in tourism development in the district. According to him, if the dry port, Mahakali Corridor, Majhgaun Airport, Daijichhela Industrial Area among other mega projects were operational, the tourism business here would boom. Similarly, President of Kanchanpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pitambar Joshi, viewed that the local government should bring forward tourism promotion programmes in coordination of the private sector. He argued that the government should ensure an easy access to tourism destinations apart from putting in place necessary amenities.
Joshi asserted that the tourism sector should also create an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in the tourism sector. The 10-day Festival will feature discussions, a secondary school level oratory competition on the importance of tourism and tourism conservation, sight-seeing excursions, observation of herds of blackbuck and tourism promotional events among others, the organizers said.