One day tourism entrepreneur’s field exposure visit and interaction with community program was organized to promote the ecotourism in the Vulture Safe Feeding Site in Ghachok, Kaski on 11 June 2016. Promotion of tourism to the Ghachok is an important contribution towards sustaining the vulture safe feeding site. The programme was organised jointly by Vulture Conservation and Management Committee, Ghachok and Pokhara Bird Society with support of Bird Conservation Nepal. Tourism related entrepreneurs and concerned authorities from Pokhara visited Ghachowk and came together to develop the site as a popular destination for vulture watching in the country.
Krishna Bhusal, Vulture Conservation Program Officer/BCN outlined about the vulture conservation history, concept of Jatayu Restaurant (VSFS) and its link to ecotourism promotion. Raja Ram Poudel, president of Vulture Conservation and Management Committee briefed about the components of Jatayu restaurant and other potential tourism hub in and around the Ghachok village. Mann Shant Ghimire, founder president of Pokhara Bird Society said that Ghachok has already achieved much popularity among vulture watchers, and can be turned into a celebrated tourist hub if community, entrepreneurs and authorities work together.
Ram Ji Gautam, senior vulture expert suggested for the proper collaboration with concern ecotourism bodies and need of cow-shed management and other infrastructures. Hari K C, senior ornithologist, Jhalak Chaudhary, Nature Guide and bird expert, Hemanta Dhakal, vulture researcher, Tulsi Subedi, Nature Guide delivered their thoughts and suggested effective marketing campaigns and integrating of tourism tips like home stay facilities, endangered vultures view, bird watching, trekking, organic vegetable farming and culture can give a boost to the campaign.
All tourism related visitors and conservationist promised full support to the effort making the site impressive and welcoming tourist destination. However, cost of visiting Ghachowk is a major deterrent for tourists. The royalty imposed by Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and Trekking Agencies Associations Nepal (TAAN) adds to the overall expenses, forcing many tourists to have a second thought about visiting the area.
During the visit, more than hundred vultures of five species including four globally threatened species were observed. Currently, there are 24 homestays in operation.
The whole trip was led by Ishwari Chaudhary, Vulture Field Technician/BCN and Kranti Raman Pokhrel/VCMC, Ghachok and other participants included students of Institute of Forestry, members of BCN-Pokhara Branh and representattives from various trekking and tour companies.