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Mustang - 06 Jan, 2013

Mustang to unveil tourism master plan

POKHARA, Jan 6: Mustang is soon coming up with a tourism master plan with the objective of bringing in more tourists in this northwestern Nepali district. 

The master plan is being prepared by the Mustang District Development Committee, Nepal Tourism Board and Annapurna Conversation Area Project (ACAP) at a time when the Lonely Planet has identified the district as one of the must-visit destinations of 2013. 

Local Development Officer Dilliram Sigdel said the major objective of the master plan was to improve socio-economic status of locals with the help of tourism.

“Till now, tourists are arriving in Mustang on the basis of information, such as reviews and travelogues, available on the Internet or by word of mouth. Once the master plan is ready, tourists can get plenty of information prior to their visit,” he said, adding, the work on the master plan began in September and will complete by August 2013.

So far, no effective promotional campaigns have been launched by the government or the private sector to promote Mustang, said Indradhara Bista, president of Tourism Management Sub-committee of Lomangthang. Bista said the master plan would help in promoting the destination and opening the flood gates for tourists. 

According to Sigdel, the master plan will have detailed information on religious, cultural, geographical aspects of the district along with the information on tourist destinations. The committee plans to unveil the master plan, including detailed geographical map of the district, through a website. 

According to the ACAP, 37,800 foreign tourists visited Mustang in 2011. The number may have gone up by few thousands in 2012, according to estimates.

Pokhara based entrepreneurs said tourism development in Mustang was being hindered by presence of transport syndicates. Hari Sharma, president of Pashchimanchal Hotel Association Pokhara, said: "It is necessary to ban syndicates operating in the region as they hassle people visiting the district."


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