We're ready to welcome tourists: Locals
Locals of Khumbu region of Solukhumbu are making preparations round the clock to welcome tourists from the coming autumn season. They have already reconstructed 90 percent of the infrastructures damaged by the earthquake.
Speaking at an interaction organized in Kathmandu on Thursday, officials of Khumbu Sherpa Culture Conservation Society (KSCCS) said reconstruction work is going on in full swing. "Local Sherpas have been working day and night to welcome tourists in autumn season," Tenzing Tashi Sherpa, president of KSCCS, said. "More than 350 workers are toiling to rebuild lodges and hotels destroyed in the earthquake.
They are being paid around Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,500 per day which is higher than their normal wage.
According to KSCCS, 90 percent of the damaged hotels and lodges in Khumjung have already been repaired and are back in business. Two new hotels are under construction in the village.
"We are in the right direction to revive tourism. We declare that the trekking trail from Chaurikharka to the Everest Base Camp is safe," Sherpa said, adding that they would also rehabilitate 90 meters of trail affected by the landslide.
KSCCS has also urged the government to declare Khumbu region as 'cultural heritage site' for the promotion and preservation of Sherpa culture. Likewise, it has also requested the government to open track from Chaurikharka to Surkhe so that Lukla remains connected to rest of the country even if flight is disrupted due to bad weather.
Locals of Khumbu have also demanded that Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) operate flights to Lukla on regular basis.
Speaking at the interaction, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Kripasur Sherpa said that the ministry will direct NAC to operate at least one or two flights to Lukla. He also urged all the tourism stakeholders to spread the message that Nepal is safe and accept the outcomes of Miyamoto's assessment of trekking trails in Annapurna region.
The government is launching assessment report of Everest Region prepared by Miyamoto on Friday.
Pasang Dawa Sherpa, representative of Khumjung VDC, said locals started reconstruction works within a month of the earthquake.
Likewise, Nima Nuru Sherpa of Namche VDC said 98 percent of the hotels in this village are ready to host tourists.
Meanwhile, Minister Sherpa launched a book titled 'The role of Sherpa Culture in Nature Conservation' on the sidelines of the interaction. The book is authored by KSCCS President Tenzing Tashi Sherpa.