(English) Paragliding business reaches its peak

Image courtesy: Sano Babu Sunuwar
Image courtesy: Sano Babu Sunuwar

KATHMANDU, Nepal– Even though June-August is apparently an off season for tourism business, paragliding companies in Pokhara are having hard time arranging flight for foreign tourists.

Almost all the paragliding companies in Pokhara are reportedly booked for a week. Until few years back, there was a slim movement of paragliding activities in tourist hub city forcing the pilots to stay on leave.

However, this is not the case this year. According to paragliding operators, the paragliding business reached its peak since a couple of weeks. It is likely to see huge footfalls at least for three weeks as most of the companies are already booked for the period.

“The demand is so high that only those tourists, who have booked three weeks ago, can enjoy paragliding,” Sano Babu Sunuwar, manager of Flying Himalayan Paragliding was quoted by today’s broadsheet daily.

Most of the tourists are drawn towards parasailing as other adventure activities like trekking and rafting are generally not possible during monsoon season.

Some paragliding operators are also facing shortage of flights as most of the foreign pilots go on holiday.

Some companies are also complaining against the new provision that prohibits pilots from operating more than three flights a day.

At present, around 100 tandem pilots, including 30 foreign pilots, are carrying out paragliding in Pokhara. There are 18 paragliding companies in Pokhara.

In the meantime, the number of Chinese tourists in Pokhara has increased significantly over the past couple of months.  The paragliding companies are reportedly having difficult to arrange flights for them .

According to the latest data issued by the Immigration Office at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, the number of Chinese tourists increased by 10 percent in June compared to same month last year.

Tourism entrepreneurs say around 90 percent of Chinese tourists visiting Pokhara wish to enjoy paragliding flight.

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