By Ramesh Lamsal/CB Adhikari
KATHMANDU, March 30: Tourism experts and tourism sector leaders have stressed on the need to promote tourism in Nepal with a focus on its neighbors-China and India. Investments should be made in the tourism sector of Nepal in order to take maximum benefit of the tourism market in the two countries.
Unique natural beauty, geographical diversity and archaeological heritage and diverse culture makes Nepal one of the most attractive tourist destinations of the world. It has already attracted huge investment from home and abroad.
Accordingly, the government is observing the coming 2020 as Visit Nepal Year. Easy VISA procedures and policy reforms in the tourism sector have been made to facilitate tourists visiting Nepal, said Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board Dipak Raj Joshi while speaking at the Nepal Investment Summit on Friday. “Nepal takes a new place among the world tourism destinations with round-the-year tourism activities”, he said.
The government is also giving special priority to running promotional activities targeting the neighbouring countries and identifying and promoting new tourist destinations in the country.
A total of 1.1 million tourists visited Nepal in 2018 with 200,438 of them from neighbouring India. Likewise, the country received 153,602 tourists from China.
Speakers at the session on ‘tourist destination for pilgrimage and entertainment’ also described Nepal as an attractive location for tourists. They however emphasized on the need for physical infrastructure development and expansion to exploit that potential.
Tourism entrepreneur Sangita Shrestha said Nepal that is rich in culture and hospitality could become a model tourist destination for the world.
CEO of Silver Heritage Group Mike Bolsovar said it was the right moment to invest in the tourism sector of Nepal, which carries abundant possibilities.
International tourism scholar Akihiko Hori said tourism could become the main basis for prosperity of a country like Nepal rich in natural beauty.
National Planning Commission member Dr Ram Kumar Phuyal said the increasing number of tourists’ arrival to the country has encouraged both the government and the private sector to boost investment in the sector. The government will come up with a long-term plan for the promotion of tourism development in the country.