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Submitted to: Submitted by
NETIF Kushendra N. Shah
Lazimpat, K.T.M Shreejan R. Shrestha

DATE: June 2, 2008
FROM: Survey Group

On Saturday, May 17, 2008, we attended the interactive workshop on "Development of Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trail" held in Mirabel Hotel, Dhulikhel. Our objective was to acquire more information about this cultural trail from distinguished guest along with stake holder and VDC chairperson. This workshop was conducted to integrate sustainable environmental aspect with community development activity for tourism development in the respective trail area which include from Sunderijal-Mulkharka-Chisapani-Chaukibhanjyang-Nagarkot-Opi-Dhulikhel-Namobuddha-Panauti-Kathmandu.
The program was to highlight the two major issues:
a. Eco-tourism for better economy
b. Promotion of community-based tourism

The workshop was started from 11:00 pm which was followed by welcome speech of Dr. Sanjay Nath Khanal (Executive Member- NETIF & Dept. head of Environmental Science, K.U). According to him, NETIF, a newly established organization pioneer in the field of eco- tourism. The program is to encompass sustainable development that incorporates environmental aspects for development of tourism. It highlights the tourism development of Dhulikhel, Banepa, Panauti, Nagarkot and including their premises and involving the village & peoples within a proposed trail so called ‘Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trail’. Today environmental aspects and its stabilization is the challenging task in every field of developmental aspects. This organization will bring out several future programs and its implementation and further planning process & procedures. It also brings out a uniform perception about development of tourism without involving a political aspects & boundaries. This program its self is a giant steps in tourism of local area that will bring out lots of opportunities & events and further exploration. These trekking will standouts as an example in Nepal scenario since it bring a close harmony with nature and social connection with people. It also incorporate an idea of holistic approach based on common principles of all the peoples. Eventually a total participation of local people& stakeholders and setting program according to their views is the main ambition of our organization.

The hour long presentation was facilitated by Mr. Keshav Kunwar, vice-president of NETIF. Mr. Kunwar informed that NETIF a purely non-political, non-profitable and non- governmental organization established with a view to promote sustainable tourism geared towards environmental friendly tourism concepts. He admitted that organization will play a major role in economic development of community and its people through tourism. This trail will also promote not only tourism development of its area but also enhance a livelihood and economic standard of society. It definitely explores diversities of physical, geographical, biological, and cultural aspects. The basic motto of eco-tourism is to obtain ultimate benefit to local people through income generating activities. Similarly he also emphasized about pollution controlling strategies and their mitigating measures on side by side while promoting tourism. According to him NETIF has bring out several plan in the upcoming future like:

• Making Dhulikhel a ‘Tourism Destination’ and promoting tourism related accessories to keep its identity.
• Development of ‘Dhulikhel Dreamland Project’.
• This program also geared towards bringing out economic revolutions through sustainable tourism practices
• Focused on income generation through cash crops agricultural practices and avoiding traditional way of practices to get better yield.
• Exploration& development of trails their by regeneration of traditions/cultural features along with building recreational parks & other tourism possibilities.
• Interaction with local government and entrepreneur.
• Taking feasibility study
• Standing out one of the best examples in world so far.

The presentation was followed by Mr. Panu Kononen on behalf of SUOMEN LATU about the project. He spoke that it was founded in 1938, in Helsinki, Finland and said about involvement of 75000 members in 240 member associations all over the country. According to him its main objective is to increase Finnish people’s interest in exercise as well as developing possibilities for outdoor, conditioning and recreational exercise. He also explained that SUOMEN LATU works locally, nationally and since 1997, globally. This organization has carried out a development cooperation project in Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania 1997-2001. Mr. Kononen also highlighted about SUOMEN LATU-Nordic walking, its importance, varieties and tips for Nordic walking which has become very popular in Finland and rest of the world as a recreational sports. It is said that there are about seven million active walkers, and Nordic walking is one of the most rapidly developing hobbies in the world.

This hour long presentation was led by President-NETIF, Mr. Arun Shrestha about project identification of the Core Group from the community in the Target Area (Mulkharka, Chisapani, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namobuddha, and Panauti). He highlighted about NETIF aim, vision, core vision and its objectives. According to him NETIF’s aim is to integrate sustainable environmental conservation and community development programme for tourism development. Mr. Shrestha elaborated the activities for the development of a trekking trail like cleaning up, upgrading the old parts, constructing new trail, marking it with wooden signs and information boards, constructing 2 entry gates, constructing for resting places/shelter & recycling center, and planting trees. He further elaborated the activities for establishing community based centers for tourism activities like finding/leasing an empty houses, its renovation and using as space for project trainings. He also added the partnering with existing tourism information centers and other stakeholders for promotion of tourism activities. Mr. Shrestha explained about the plan of community based tourism and its several activities that include eight annual trainings in tourism and product development for instance: home stay accommodation, local guide trainings, small lodge and hotel management, entrepreneurship development, local culture promoting, handicraft training, organic farming, and other tourism related subjects. He also added the formation of volunteer groups to implement promotional activities like annual clean ups in the project area, environmental awareness raising campaign in the project area on the 2nd year, producing promotional material for environmental awareness raising campaign, e.g. hand outs, posters, dust bins etc.

The further discussion was made by Warden of Shivapuri N.P. He appreciated as a good step in promoting tourism of natural& cultural sites along with trail vicinity. He admitted that besides promoting the tourism activities, the currently seen problem is the mismanagement of solid wastes (most often) in Shivapuri National Park. There has been seen a lack of suitable Hotels and resting places in the national park premises. He also gave information about the involvement of community people, including local clubs about making pollution free zone by launching awareness programs. He emphasized on launching tourism activities with incorporating environmental concerns for economic development of whole area. He pledged that he will remain flexible and provide necessary help as much as possible for development of this trail on behalf of national park.

The delegate from ‘Nepal Batabaran Patrakar Samuha’ explained about the importance of eco-tourism regarding the development of cultural trail. He focused that development of tourism doesn’t mean the way of building high-tech, full-facilitated building and resorts. But adopting community-based tourism practices can attract tourist in greater number. He said that eco-tourism is much suitable type of tourism development in the context of Nepal. He also informed that tourism that considers environmental aspects will standout as the best sustainable tourism development all over world.

Mr. Yadav Khanal, Managing Director of Sita Travels & Tours stated that we should not depend on our slogan but should be responsible on performing actions. For this condition the government should be responsible to create a suitable environment. Mr. Khanal focused to initiate the developmental activity from grass root level. He assured that Tourism is analyst business, now the benefit from tourism is targeted towards hotel business but not targeted toward the benefits of lower people. He stated that an upliftment of Eco-tourism concern’s can be possible from the sustainable use of natural resources of Nepal.

A brief discussion was led by Bel Prasad Shrestha an Ex-Mayor of Dhulikhel Municipality addressed that NETIF a newly established organization established by young, active and energetic people for the contribution in tourism aspects of Nepal. According to him it will be a good trail designed to focus for tourists to spend their time, sharing & knowing about village, people & their cultures and traditions. He emphasized to have a ‘win-win’ system to make a better success for equally benefit. Tourism is just like water in a pipe line which don’t need outlet. Actions should be focus on a lower level to get benefit in some way. He also admitted that like international tourists, equal importance should also be given for local visitors who are actually going to feel& experience in better way. Lastly he insisted that actions should be taken immediately by giving trainings to people of local community so that they can be progressed and self aware of developing their locality.

A half-hour speech was conducted by Comman Singh Lama giving his own idea about the misconception of statement ‘make a tourist feeling different not feeling homely’. He also stated that feeling of Dhulikhel should also be kept not only in its area but in every places of trail. He also said that we should make some other way of action that provides a unique experience to a tourist. He explained that many places haven’t been explored yet and such places are needed to be explored that are actually waiting for tourist to welcome. He said that we can make our area fully equipped with recreational values and our area has enough potential to provide such natural satisfaction. Lastly he admitted that promoting vicinity along the trail may obviously lead to flourish tourism of Dhulikhel itself.

A half-hour long presentation is facilitated by Mrs. Sabita Aryal, executive member of NETIF and lecturer of environmental science, K.U. Mrs. Aryal highlighted the importance of sustainable tourism development that incorporates the economic, social and aesthetic needs of people. She mentioned that community support is necessary for planning, decisionmaking and implementation of tourism development activities. She mainly focused on the planning tool as a key principles for optimal benefit, integrating the social and cultural fabric of community life and sustainable resource use. She also stated that negative impact can be avoided if local people plan for tourism in a participatory way.

The interaction program was followed at 14:30 pm. The different issues were aroused from several participants some of them are as fallows:
a. Improvement and identification of unfamiliar area
b. Exploration of unknown place in valley
c. Promotion of education trek along the trail
d. Managing the Solid waste problem in Shivapuri National Park
e. Negative impacts of tourist on existing culture & traditions
f. Focused on tourism in qualitative way not quantitative way
g. Economic development of community through tourism
h. Promotion of local visitors along the trail.

The program was concluded with vote of thanks by Mr. Subash Kaji Shrestha, Acting General Secretary of NETIF. He eventually stated that this workshop will be fruitful for the upcoming activities based on community ecotourism

Every presentation and speech we attended was beneficial. However following information will clarify the productiveness of the workshop:
1. Dr. Khanal views was quite good regarding to the integration of community and environmental challenges with tourism. He not only focused on the environmental pollution but also the importance of the environmental resources such as watershed, forests, wildlife and other natural recreational aspects.
2. Mr. Kunwar suggestion was useful and informative on tourism as economic development parameter. The concept of Dhulikhel Dreamland Project that he has brought is milestone in the field of tourism. It can be one of the best projects in the development of tourism not only in Dhulikhel but in context of Nepal. In our sense this type of project will contribute largely to the national economy as well as improvement in the socio-economic conditions of local community. The word ‘think big, do big’ was very encouraging and according to him it doesn’t mean ambitious but rather challenging in its self. Therefore we have to do challenging work to sustain the market of tourism and this cultural trail development is one of them.
3. Mr. Panu Kononen idea of Nordic walking was quite impressive. This type of recreational sports should be promoted highly since it is most suitable with topological features of Nepal.
4. The development of Kathmandu valley cultural trail brought by Mr. Shrestha is innovative & supportive in trekking development of Nepal. He has highlighted the various activities & plan regarding the development of eco-tourism which is found to be very essential. It needs to be done thoroughly. This cultural trail will stand out as a good sign in tourism development of Nepal. This project will bring overwhelming supports and opportunities for the rural local community along this trail.
5. Mr. Lama stated that various physical, biological and cultural diversities need to be explored for the promotion of ecotourism which is relevant in the context of Nepal. The statement of Mr. Lama ‘make a tourist feeling different not feeling homely’ was very striking for any kind of tourism promoting authorities & agencies. So they need to be focused on the uniqueness of every aspect to make more satisfaction for tourists.
6. Bel Prashad Shrestha insisted to make the works immediately done for better result in tourism and national economy. He further added that there should not be delay for the implementation of project. One important view he had mentioned was tourism authorities should also give equal priorities to increase local visitors along with foreign visitors.
7. Mrs. Aryal illustrated on sustainable tourism development, community tourism development and its planning procedures which are very essential to carried out any developmental activities.
8. The participants Sangita Parajuli (member of Rotary club, Banepa) emphasized on the promotion of organic farming in the village area. She also gave an idea of the production and commercialization of local food products to reduce the solid waste generated from Junk food stuffs.
9. Govinda Prasad Sapkota (vdc secretary of shanku) gave an idea of establishing the view tower in the Namobuddha area.


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