Tourists enjoy on a hilltop. (File photo/RSS)
KATHMANDU: The Nepali ambassadors serving in various countries have recommended Nepal to consider opening up itself for the foreign tourists citing the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines and international tourism reviving gradually.
At a virtual interaction organized by the Nepal Tourism Board here on Wednesday, the Nepali ambassadors to the USA, Canada, to Brazil among others univocally spoke of the need for the same adhering to health safety protocols.
During the interaction, Nepali envoy to the USA Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada said that the Board should devise a special tourism promotion package for foreign tourists beyond India and China. Dr Khatiwada, also former Minister for Finance, suggested the Board coordinate efforts among the federal, provincial, and local governments to address the budget crisis for tourism promotion-related programs.
“Tourism activities are almost nil due to COVID-19. At such times, the federal government is bound to experience budget constraints.
But the provincial and local governments have budgets for tourism. We could carry out tourism promotional programs utilizing those budgets,” he suggested.
According to him, efforts were underway to forge collaboration with Hollywood to promote cine tourism between Nepal and the USA.
Likewise, the Nepali ambassador to Canada Bhrigu Dhungana echoed with Dr Khatiwada and said that Nepal should be ready to attract foreign tourists adhering to all health safety protocols against COVID-19.
Citing the outbound Canadian nationals for tourism after getting vaccinated and the pandemic dwindling, Dhungana said that they were collaborating with the Canadian stakeholders to attract Canadian investment to Nepal apart from inviting Canadians to Nepal.
Similarly, Deputy Chief of Mission in the Nepali Embassy in Brazil Bharat Khanal pointed out the need to produce promotional materials in various international languages including Brazilian to lure as many as Brazilians and other foreign tourists to Nepal. “The promotional materials should be either digital or traditional”, he advised the Board.
The executive counselor general in the Nepali Consulate Office in New York, USA Bishnu Prasad Gautam said that the number of people visiting Nepal from New York was on the rise lately. He opined that Nepal should enthusiastically welcome foreign tourists from the USA in the wake of vaccines against COVID-19 working effectively to prevent the pandemic.
CEO of the Board Dr Dhananjaya Regmi said that the Board was working towards promoting tourism considering reforms at a policy level, bolstering interagency coordination and budget limitation. He said that it was imperative to expand tourism destinations in a new and attractive manner to make Nepal a holiday destination for people of all walks of life and for all seasons. “There was no choice except for moving ahead with tourism revival program,” he observed.