Pokhara has been seeing a significant increment in investments in adventure tourism. Money has been pouring into sky adventure in particular as it has become a major attraction for tourists and has also helped to lengthen their stay. Investments in sky adventure activities like paragliding, ultra light flying, zipflying and bungee jumping are estimated to have reached Rs 560 million.
Meanwhile, attracted by the prospects in the sky adventure business, electronics trader Paras Gautam has opened Fishtail Ultra Light Company. With this, the number of ultra light companies in the lakeside city has reached three. “We have made an investment sensing the market potential,” said Gautam.
Another company Pokhara Ultra Light got off the ground this year. Around 18 years ago, Avia Club started offering ultra light sky adventure activities in the country. The three ultra light companies operating presently have a combined investment of Rs 140 million.
Entrepreneurs said that adventure tourism had grown mainly because of swelling arrivals encouraged by the end of the Maoist conflict and relatively stable political situation. “Investors are enthused of late, mainly due to the increase in Chinese arrivals,” said Prabin Gauchan, managing director of Avia Club.
The conversion of Pokhara into a destination for adventure tourism has increased the number of Chinese tourists here. Tourism entrepreneurs said that most of the tourists visiting Pokhara are attracted by ultra light flying, zipflying and paragliding. “Around 90 percent of the tourists who enjoy sky adventure in Pokhara are from China,” said Rajesh Bamjan, president of the Nepal Air Sports Association.
Around 15 years ago, Biru Bomjan established Nepal’s first paragliding company, Sunrise Paragliding Company. Only after 2006 did other paragliding companies appear on the scene. Their number has reached 19 in the last three to four years. According to Bomjan, the fact that sky adventure is turning into a good source of income has attracted many investors.
Meanwhile, paragliding operators said that the increased number of companies had led to congestion in the skies above Sarangkot Hill from where paragliders take off. Zipflying, which was introduced with an investment of Rs 130 million around two years ago, too has emerged as a major attraction for tourists.
Source & References
Sharma, S. 2014. Adventure sport thrills tourists. [online] 29 January. Available at: http://www.ekantipur.com/the-kathmandu-post/2014/01/28/money/adventure-sport-thrills-tourists/258659.html [Accessed: 29 Jan 2014].