February 22: The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has decided to recommend the government to develop 39 districts of six provinces of the country as hill station zones.
NTB is preparing to send a proposal to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation for developing 39 districts into hill stations. The board plans to promote the hill stations as a new tourism product.
The concept of hill station has been conceived especially for accommodation of tourists for the summer season and NTB wants to issue summer season tourism package for the hill station.
The board has proposed to develop the hill stations targeting Indian tourists as well as tourists from European countries. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NTB Dr Dhananjay Regmi informed that NTB will soon submit a proposal to the Ministry of Tourism for developing the proposed states and districts into hill station zones.
"Currently, the development of hill stations has been taken forward in six states," said Regmi. The government needs to help with land pooling and develop basic infrastructure such as drinking water, roads and electricity for the development of the hill station zones, added Regmi.
“The government has to spend Rs 100 million, which is enough to invest in the initial phase and for land pooling. After that, the private sector will make the remaining investment," Regmi added.
Stating that he expects the government to approve the proposal, he stressed that collaboration between the central, provincial and local governments is crucial for the project. If the government cooperates in these matters, the private sector will invest at least Rs 10 billion to Rs 15 billion for establishing quality hill stations. If there is no land pooling in the proposed hill station, there may be a problem later. Therefore, the government should take steps to consolidate the land as soon as possible, Regmi stressed.
The Tourism Board has proposed to develop Panchthar, Ilam, Terhathum, Dhankuta, Bhojpur, Khotang, Udayapur, Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Kavrepalanchok, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Makwanpur, Nuwakot and Dhading of Bagmati as hill station zones.
Similarly, the board has proposed to develop Gorkha, Tanahu, Syangja, Kaski, Parbat, Baglung, Myagdi and Lamjung of Gandaki, Palpa, Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Pyuthan, Rolpa, Rukum of Lumbini, Salyan, Jajarkot, Surkhet and Dailekh of Karnali, and Dandeldhura of Far Western Province into hill stations.