Catching the imagination of the most discerning visitors « Khabarhub
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Catching the imagination of the most discerning visitors

KATHMANDU: It was in the 1950s when Nepal opened its doors to the world. With the start of the new decade, this Himalayan country now seeks to present itself in a new and improved light through its most ambitious tourism campaign — Visit Nepal 2020 with an aim to bring in 2 million tourists.

Seems ambitious? “Not exactly,” expounds Dipak Joshi, CEO of Nepal Tourism Board, adding, “The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), together with the VNY Secretariat, are endeavoring to meet the target due to the looming positive signs.”

Joshi elaborates further saying that the VNY 2020 is indubitably an opportunity for tourists – both domestic and international — to enjoy the secure, comfortable, and affordable lifetime travel experience in Nepal.

And this is one of the reasons why the slogan ‘Lifetime Experience’ has been chosen — aimed at highlighting all the experiences that Nepal embodies. The fact cannot be denied that Nepal does offer mountain climbing and trekking for those with an adventurous heart.

For anyone who is not big on climbing a mountain for a gorgeous view, there are still other options such as mountaineering, white-water rafting, trekking, bungee jumping, paragliding, boating, sky-diving, among other activities.

And for the foodies out there, there are hundreds of Nepalese delicacies waiting to be explored. For travelers who seek spiritual enlightenment, Nepal is famous for being the birthplace of Lord Buddha, along with having various meditation centers. You feel the presence of gods or goddesses wherever you go, at least in the temples and holy sites in galore.

And for those who want to see animals in their natural habitat, there are a large number of national parks and wildlife reserves.

Consider what Prime Minister K P Oli had to say about the campaign: “We want to disseminate to every corner of the world, through Visit Nepal Year, that Nepal is a prized destination for travelers as well as investors who want to do profitable business in the travel and tourism industry.”

In fact, if Joshi’s statement is to be mentioned, it may not be wrong to say that Nepal has a competitive advantage due to its varied topographical features, and biodiversity.

“That’s why Nepal has been catching the imagination of the most discerning visitors,” he states.

VNY 2020, in the real sense, is a year committed to Nepal’s tourism industry with a vision of making Nepal a reasonable brand as a travel and vacationer destination.

Nepal’s Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai has said that the VNY 2020 should not just be viewed as a campaign but has to be recognized as a national development strategy.

“We need to ensure that a visitor’s experience has to be converted to the best possible hospitality that Nepal can offer,” Minister Bhattarai has recently said.

Minister Bhattarai is, in fact, right to say that this can be achieved only when every Nepali citizen takes the ownership of the campaign.

According to him, the government has invited tourism ministers of 40 countries for the inauguration of the VNY 2020 Campaign scheduled on January 01, 2020.

Nepal, which is often seen as an amphitheater for adventure enthusiasts, has witnessed a significant rise of foreign tourists in recent times. For instance, if the data of NTB is to be considered, the total arrival of international tourists was 1 million 173 thousand 702 visitors in 2018.

In addition, Visit Nepal Secretariat is working with various internationally-famed celebrities such as Joanna Lumley, Xu Qing, and also popular Swedish environmental explorer, Johan Ernst Nilson.

A partnership has also been established with various travel bloggers as well as the Lonely Planet, which will produce three pocket guide books on themes such as culture and heritage, spirituality, and adventure in order to guide the travelers.

Moreover, the government will display over one hundred and eight larger than life sculptures of yeti — the official mascot of the Visit Nepal Year 2020 — within and outside the country.

In preparation for the campaign, Nepal’s only international airport, the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has undergone renovations to expand its capacity and offer visitors a warmer welcome. The TIA has also been developed as a boutique airport to give the first impression of Nepali culture and tradition.

Likewise, the country’s second international airport in Lumbini – Siddartha Gautam International Airport — is currently close to completion and is expected to start operations by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

There has also been a high priority placed in infrastructure to improve traveler’s experiences. In anticipation of the campaign, 5 new luxury hotels have been constructed in the capital and efforts have been made to further educate those in the tourism industry so as to improve hospitality.

As a developing country, Nepal and its people are aware of the negative consequences that the environment can potentially be burdened with. The preparations that have been made for VNY 2020 have been made with this in mind.

The tourism sector in Nepal is based on its cultural and natural resources. Therefore, maintaining these assets is crucial to the country. As such, Nepal is committed to sustainability.

Their three main commitments are towards climate change, developing community-based tourism and going green.

In 2020, the first-ever Sagarmatha Sambaad (Sagarmatha Dialogue) is going to be held where the main topic will be “Climate Change, Mountains and the Future of Humanity.”

In terms of conservation, Nepal is close to doubling its tiger population. In fact, in Bardiya National Park, the tiger population has already doubled. This is credited to local communities whose efforts have been exemplary and Visit Nepal wants to showcase that.

Nepal is a beautiful country. This won’t be the last time you hear that but there is an old Chinese saying, “Don’t listen to what they say. Go see!”

Nepal welcomes you!

Publish Date : 19 December 2019 09:37 AM

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