KATHMANDU: Concluding it’s not much rational to talk about the targets of Visit Nepal 2020, the government now plans to utilize the advertisement and other resources to promote tourism through Visit Nepal Decade 2020-2030.
As the initiation for the corrective course, the government has already canceled the promotional activities of Visit Nepal 2020.
At the lead of the Ministry for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, the government organized a meeting to discuss the feasibility of observing this decade as the tourism decade. The Ministry called for a meeting with the officials of stakeholder ministry in the provinces, the local representatives and entrepreneurs and held a discussion on the rationality of converting expenses on infrastructure now into the investment for Visit Nepal Decade 2020-2030.
The Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai believes that the tourism sector can generate nearly 500 thousand job opportunities every year.
He says that the government is planning to initiate a new system in the budget. Minister Bhattarai hopes that provided the center initiates coordination with the province and province and the center coordinate with the local level, tourism can be a promising industry both from employment and income-generating perspective.
Information center in all 7 provinces
According to Minister Bhattarai, the government is planning to establish tourism information centers in all provinces.
“To promote the concept of tourism zone and tourism development, the government is making arrangements for establishing the tourism information centers in all seven provinces,” Bhattarai said, “This information center should be equipped enough to offer details of all areas under those provinces.”
The center is expected to disseminate information about the environment, infrastructures, foods and beverage facilities, customs, temperature etc.
No money to the destination sans progress
The government has collected 100 prospective places to be developed as tourism zones. The government list prepared nearly two years before has details about the prospective places and their historical or cultural significance.
The government has made the plan of monitoring the progress made in those places more strictly so that the zones without progress would subject to budget reduction.
“We are working on how to restructure those 100 destinations,” Minister Bhattarai said, “Those who have worked satisfactorily shall deserve extra funding, however, the neglected places should come up with better plans otherwise their money will be frozen.”
The government has put forward the concept of promoting hill stations on the hilly region and launch larger projects in the Terai.
“We are working on the modality which hails for the partnership in investment and profit,” Minister Bhattarai said about the modality the Ministry is working upon, “The federal government will lead the international promotion whereas province can promote domestic tourism and the locals the local tourism.”
He believed that such an endeavor would surely materialize in making the Visit Nepal Decade 2020-2030 a mega success.
Echoing Minister Bhattarai, Ghana Shyam Upadhdhyaya added that the government is also striving to materialize the major targets of the 15th National Plan. Some of the targets of the 15th Plan include making the tourist inflow 3.5 million every year, extending the tourist’s stay to 15 days, and ensuring that average expenditure goes to 80 dollars per day. He added that this would generate employment opportunities to 590 thousand people.
For infrastructure development of the tourism sector, Bagmati Province alone has allocated 1.65 billion rupees in the budget of this current fiscal year. The Tourism Ministry of the province has identified 74 projects that can be completed in less than Rs 5 million each and signed contract with through the Consumers’ Committee.
According to Shiva Kumar Wagle, the Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism in Bagmati Province, the province has spent 320 million rupees till date.
Gandaki Province has run 274 homestays and is planning to introduce 53 more soon.
Similarly, Province 5, has been trying to promote tourism through various programs like ‘Let’s Visit Bardiya’ campaign, homestay training, tourism fair, religious fairs to promote religious tourism.
This province is planning to prioritize and promote the programs related to Buddha Circuit, homestays, national parks etc.
Radha Wagle, the Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism shared that the province is planning to focus on homestay and hotels.
“We are planning to make 270 hotels and homestays so as to enhance the lodging capacity with 7000 more beds,” Wagle said.
Karnali Province has made a plan to promote 17 new destinations enlisted in the list of 100 published by the Federal Tourism Ministry. Dolpo, Mid-Bheri, Rara-Jumla, Humla-Limi are major destinations in the list.
The government has included 10 places of Far-western Province as special tourist destinations. The province aims to promote, religious and cultural tourism development, homestay development and promotion, feasibility study of adventure tourism in the province, construction of tourist trail and trekking route, renovation of the cultural and historical monument as the means of promoting sustainable tourism in the province.
Hill stations in all provinces
As a means of promoting Nepal’s tourism at its best, the government has put forward the concept of developing hill stations in all provinces.
As per the plan, Province 1 will develop Shree Antu as hill station when Province 2 will promote Gadhimai, Simraungadh and Bara for it.
Bagmati province is going to develop Chitlang- Makawanpur, Mudhe- Sindhupalcowk, Jiri- Dolakha, Ruby valley Dhading, Somdang- Rasuwa and Kakani- Nuwakot as the main destinations.
Simlarly, Huspekot- Nawalpur, Narapani- Arghakhanchi, Guranse Danda- Dailekh, Bhat-kanda- Kailali are to be developed as the hill stations of Gandaki Province, Province-5, Karnali Province and Sudurpaschim Province respectively.