Skal International Nepal Promoting Hidden Treasure of Heritage Tourism

Skal 1 - image courtesy of Skal
image courtesy of Skal
Written by Linda Hohnholz

The recipient of Skal Asian Area Club of the year 2024 for the highest growth of number of members, Skal International – Nepal continues to make a significant difference through tourism.

Car Rally and Annual Rendezvous was held on May 31 and June 1, 2024, aiming to promote Dapcha as a tourist destination. The event saw the participation of 25 cars and over 35 Skalleagues, along with three Mayors, community leaders, and many local villagers. The rally began at Hotel Dusit Princess in Kathmandu and proceeded to Dapcha, a medieval trading town in the Kavre district. The route covered approximately 105 km and passed through several heritage towns, including Bhaktapur, Nala, Panauti, Namobuddha, and Dhulikhel.

Skal  International – Nepal, with 82 members, is dedicated to achieving Skal’s mission through leadership, professionalism, and friendship, maximizing networking opportunities, and supporting a responsible tourism industry.

Once a vibrant Newar trading town on a historic route out of Kathmandu Valley towards eastern Nepal, Dapcha has declined following the construction of the BP highway, leading to local migration to Kathmandu and beyond. Many old buildings require immediate restoration, and there is a need for a strategic plan to develop Dapcha as a heritage tourism destination close to Kathmandu.

The rally not only focused on Dapcha but also explored other heritage sites en route, including Muktinath Temple near Panauti, Panauti and Namobuddha. Participants were warmly welcomed by locals with traditional music, followed by a quick heritage walk. The presence of the Mayors of Panauti and Namobuddha, local ward chairs, community leaders and residents added to the festive atmosphere. In Dapcha, an engaging musical performance was followed by tree plantation and interaction sessions. A knowledge session was hosted at the Lumbini Hall of the Dusit Thani Himalayan Resort, where Mr. Ramesh Hamal, founder of the resort, delivered a welcome speech highlighting his reasons for choosing Namobuddha for his high-value property.

Skal 2 | eTurboNews | eTN

Mr. Kanak Mani Dixit, an acclaimed journalist and social activist, delivered the keynote speech on the tourism potential of Dapcha and the Namobuddha ridgeline. He urged the tourism sector to embrace continual learning and innovation and emphasized the importance of storytelling to attract travelers. He also coined the term ‘Thumko Tourism’.

Skal 3 | eTurboNews | eTN

Mr. Ashok Byanju Shrestha, the Mayor of Dhulikhel Municipality, shared his initiatives to promote Dhulikhel, focusing on ease of doing business and investment-friendly policies. The vote of thanks was delivered by Club President, Mr. Mahendra Raj Poudel, who emphasized the need for collaboration among tourism stakeholders and expressed gratitude to all participants and partners. Pankaj Pradhananga, WTN-Nepal chair, facilitated the session.  

Skal 4 | eTurboNews | eTN

The event would not have been successful without unwavering support by Dusit Thani Himalayan Resort, Dusit Princess – Kathmandu, BYD, Qatar Air, Kalpa Casa Farm – Nala, Panauti Municipality, Namobuddha Municipality, Dapcha Kotdevi Sewa Samiti, Agantuk Resort, and Nepal Tourism Board.

Locals in Dapcha and tourism operating sector in Kathmandu are equally excited to collaborate in order to bring the lost glory of Dapcha through sustainable tourism. Hence Skal Internatoinal- Nepal’s has a greater role to play in positioning Dapcha as an exemplary destination for heritage tourism.

About the author

Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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