Three new paragliding companies have started operation in Pokhara.
With the addition of new companies, the number of paragliding companies operating in Pokhara has reached, according to Nepal Air Sports Association (NASA). Hanuman Paragliding, 360 Paragliding and Open Sky Paragliding are the new companies that recently started services in Pokhara.
Tourism entrepreneurs say that the number of paragliding companies in Pokhara has increased as the lake city is seeing rise in the number of tourists looking for adventure tourism activities.
As the Sarangkot — the most popular destination for paragliding flights in Pokhara — is already crowded, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has assigned Toripani and Mandredhunga as the take-off sites for the new companies.
Toripani lies at a distance of 15 minutes away from Sarangkot, while Mandredhunga is 15 minutes away from Toripani.
The ministry has designated Chankhapur as the landing site for companies operating from Toripani and Pame as landing site for those operating from Mandredhunga.
Bhisma Raj Paudel, promoter of Hanuman Paragliding, said they decided to open a new paragliding company after seeing tourists wait for days to get their turn. “The demand is so high that, many tourists do not get the chance to enjoy paragliding in peak tourist season. Opening of new companies will ease pressure on existing companies,” he added.
Paragliding companies need to have paid-up capital of Rs 10 million. With this capital, they can operate up to four glides and hire up to six pilots. Though opening of new companies will increase competition, Prajwol Ranjit, manager of Open Sky Paragliding, said their business will not suffer as long as their political stability in the country. “The number of tourists visiting Pokhara is increasing with every passing year.
Many tourists want to enjoy paragliding Pokhara,” he said, adding, “We have made investment only after studying the market.” Similarly, Nir Lalit Priya, manager of 360 Paragliding, said competition won´t be a problem for them as they have put in place a strong marketing policy. Sobit Baniya, vice president of NASA, said some more paragliding companies are in the process of getting license from the tourism ministry. “By the end of this year, the number of paragliding companies in Pokhara will reach 50,” he said, adding that the companies will face difficult times in the off-season.