Assessment of Possibilities of Ecotourism Development around Jagadishpur Lake
Wetlands cover 5% area of Nepal. There are many natural and artificial wetlands in Nepal. Out of them, Jagadishpur is the largest artificial lake and important wetland, located in Kapilvastu district. Despite the high potential for tourism development and close proximity to the Lumbini World Heritage site, this lake is less known to national and international visitors. Thus, this study was carried out to assess the possibilities of eco-tourism around this lake. Household survey, key informant
... ey, key informant survey and focus group discussion were carried out to know the people's perception, issues and challenges for tourism development. Collected data were analyzed qualitatively. Jagadishpur along with the other nearby historical places like Sagarhawa, Tilaurakot, Gotihaw, Niglihawa, etc. have a high potential for eco-tourism development. Bird watching was found to be most feasible, followed by the Jeep Safari and boating. Other ecotourism activities like Tharu culture, homestay can also be developed. However, poor tourism infrastructure development, marketing capacity of local people on visitor management, etc. have been addressed as the issues in the study area. However, people and stakeholders are willing to sort out this problem and willing to involve in ecotourism activities. It is recommended that awareness programs by providing various skill development programs and workshops related to tourism, the information center and involvement of the private sector in the promotion of ecotourism in and around the site.