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Domestic tourists flock in Pokhara to fly, fare for paragliding halved (photo feature)



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By Tara Chapgain, Kaski, Nov. 1: Domestic tourists have flocked to Pokhara for paragliding, thanks to over 50 per cent slash in the charge for the air sport.

Some 700 people have been flying in the sky a day since Oct. 1 when commercial paragliding was resumed after months of COVID-19 lockdown.

Krishna Prasad Bhandari, President of Nepal Air Sports Association, said that of the total tourists, 70 per cent are from Pokhara itself while 30 per cent are from other districts and cities.

"In the past, most of those doing paragliding would be foreign tourists, but now we have domestic ones due to COVID-19," he said.

He added that paragliding had given a relief to tourism sector here while other related businesses have come to a halt due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Fare for paragliding in the past was Rs. 7,500 per person whereas it has been slashed by more than half to Rs. 3,500 now.

About 60 companies are operate paragliding in Pokhara. Depending upon company, paragliding starts from Sarangkot, Toripani, Mandre Dhunga and lands at the bank of Few Lake.

Some 370 Nepali and 10 foreign pilots are employed in paragliding here and a billion rupees is said to have been invested in the sector.