Kaski, Feb 11
The high hills and mountains in Kaski district would attract tourists with snow blanketing the areas if it was a normal time. This time, the situation is different.
Potential visitors are waiting for snowfall to enjoy. Dearth of snowfall has caused severe concerns for environmentalists and tourism entrepreneurs alike.
Tourism entrepreneurs are worried over a lack of the flow of tourists to the area. Krapudanda in Madi Rural Municipality-2 had received around 25 tourists on a daily basis during the same period last year. But, only around four showed up this time, said the local people. Krapudanda is famous for visitors to relish the snow.
There are four hotels in the area, said a tourism entrepreneur Himal Gurung. “The number of tourists visiting the area this year is very low as compared to the last year,” he said. Krapudanda would receive a dense movement of tourists during this season, he said, adding, “There would be a pressure of tourists in the area just post Dashain and Tihar festivals. But, this time, only three or four have made their way on a daily basis here.”
Sikles, another touristy village, is also receiving dwindling number of tourists. The influx of tourists has seen sharp fall for not having snowfall, said a local Bel Gurung. The village received around 25 tourists on a daily basis, he said. Other touristy villages including Hugugoth, Kapuche and Kori are also in the similar situation without snowfall.
The dearth of snowfall and rain has another setback- farmers are worried about their crops. “There was a light rainfall on Wednesday. However, snowfall is elusive. As a result, farmers are finding it hard to do cultivation. Tourism entrepreneurship is also at risk,” said Bel. Crops like potato, wheat, barley, mustard, bean, tomato and vegetables have been affected without rain and snow, he explained.
Tourism entrepreneurs of this area are worried with the decrease in the arrival of tourists at Mardi trekking route of the district.
A proprietor of Low Camp Guest House and Restaurant, Amrit Tamang, said, “Although this time is off-season for tourists. They were able to make good income last year from the tourists visiting the area to enjoy snow.”
He further said none of the tourist visited the area as snowfall did not take place this year, that has created a problem to the tourism entrepreneurs to sustain their business. Around 200 tourists visited Mardi mountain trekking route to enjoy snow-filled nature, but only 40-50 tourists visited the Mardi trekking route this season.
Similarly, number of tourists visiting Ghandruk village has also decreased, as the village also did not experience snowfall this year. Chairperson of Ghandruk Tourism Entrepreneurs Committee, Bikram Gurung, shared that the number of tourists has decreased, as it is off-season for tourism.
“Ghandruk witnesses snowfall if it’s chilling cold. However, this time, snowfall did not take place. So tourists arrival has decreased”, he opined.
Heavy snowfall usually takes place at Kaski’s Kori, Kapuche, Hugugoth, Sikles, Karpudanda, Tangting, Ghandruk as well as villages and hills along the base camp of mountains.
Climate change is main reason behind the lack of timely rainfall and snowfall, said Chairperson of Forest Technician Society, Kaski, Kedar Poudel. “Temperature is rising across the globe, and Nepal is not an exception,” he mentioned.