Considered as one of the best holiday destinations due to its exotic natural beauty, majestic Himalayan peaks, amazing multicultural aspects, and varied topographical features, the Visit Nepal year 2020 can be an opportunity to showcase Nepal as a unique destination offering sports, adventure, religious tourism and other exotic socio-cultural experiences.
Visit Nepal 2020
KATHMANDU: The government has set an ambitious campaign to attract 2 million international tourists in 2020 with a view to branding Nepal as a major tourist destination. However, for Suraj Vaidya, National Coordinator of Visit Nepal 2020, and his team, fulfilling the government’s target could be a challenge, if not a daunting task.
The team, entrusted to accomplish the ambitious target, could feel pressurized with every tick of the clock since there is nothing like a ticking clock to get people to snap into action.
National Coordinator Vaidya and his team, including the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), however, is enthusiastic to make it happen since they have already fastened their laces.
Tourism is one of the Nepal’s vital engines of economic growth. Considered as one of the best holiday destinations due to its exotic natural beauty, majestic Himalayan peaks, amazing multicultural aspects, and varied topographical features, the Visit Nepal year 2020 can be an opportunity to showcase Nepal as a unique destination offering sports, adventure, religious tourism and other exotic socio-cultural experiences.
Nepal, dubbed as an amphitheater for adventure enthusiasts, witnessed a significant rise of foreign tourists in 2018 with a total of 1 million 173 thousand 702 visitors coming to Nepal as per the NTB data.
Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari expounds the truth when he says, “Nepal has a competitive advantage due to its varied topographical features, and biodiversity.”
Nepal, dubbed as an amphitheater for adventure enthusiasts, witnessed a significant rise of foreign tourists in 2018 with a total of 1 million 173 thousand 702 visitors coming to Nepal as per the NTB data. The figure was 940,281 in 2017. “With positive signs looming, and views flooding with promising assurances from across the world, we are very much optimistic to meet the target,” Vaidya told khabarhub.com referring to the significant growth of international visitors.
However, challenges remain. As Nepal markets its destinations, it needs to ensure that it delivers a safe, flawless, and inimitable experience to the international visitors. The government, coordinating team and the private sectors need to work both on physical and digital infrastructure development such as: roads, connectivity, hotel rooms, air and land service, including maintaining cleanliness, and controlling pollution ensuring that the visitors do not get into trouble. The construction of the Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahawa, and the expansion and beautification of the country’s only international airport, Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, and the reconstruction of the major heritage sites destroyed by the 2015 devastating earthquake remains a challenging task. However, tourism minister Adhikari is hopeful that the Gautam Buddha Airport would be completed by mid-August.
Obviously, less than 300 days is not enough time to accomplish all the tasks. Vaidya, however, feels VN 2020 is going to be great since Nepal can attract three types of tourists – religious tourists, adventure/sports tourists, and investors from different countries, including India, China, Japan, among others.
“Religious tourism is increasing in countries such as India, China, Thailand, Japan, and Sri Lanka. Lumbini can be a major attraction for this category,” Vaidya suggests. According to NTB, India ranked the top with 200,438 tourists visiting Nepal in 2018 followed by China with 153,602 visitors, the United States with 91, 785 tourists, the United Kingdom with 63,086 visitors. The second category is the adventure tourists. “Nepal has plenty of adventure tourism spots to bring them here. We just need to market them,” he adds.
According to NTB, the arrivals from Sri Lanka have increased by 55.7 percent in 2018 in comparison to the last year. The arrivals from SAARC members registered a sturdy growth of 26.4 percent over the same period last year with 301,963 total tourist arrivals. “The figures are encouraging,” Minister Adhikari said.
Likewise, the third type of tourists that Nepal is looking for from different countries is investors, who can have the opportunity to invest in areas such as hydropower, tourism, among other sectors, according to Vaidya. Despite all odds, Nepal holds an aura of a mystical nation filled with temples and hospitable people.
It is high time that the government and the campaigners turned up the heat challenging the limited time into making VN 2020 a success!