Published on : Saturday, March 22, 2014
In order to highlight its strong commitment for tourism, Nepal government hosted a press conference. Sushil Gimire, State Secretary at Nepal Ministry for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Subash Nirola, acting CEO of Nepal Tourism Board, the Ambassador of Nepal in Germany and Sesh Ghale, a Nepalese millionaire living in Australia and President of the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA),
a very leading grouping who represents all Nepalese living outside the Himalayan Republic, were present in the conference. All of them reexamine the importance of tourism for a country such as Nepal where poverty remains endemic.
The complexities of promoting Nepal are reflected in the country’s international arrivals. Last year the country recorded797,759 tourists, a decline of 0.7 % compared to 2012. According to Nepal Tourism Board, most of the tourists visiting Nepal in 2013 were from India, China, USA and Thailand among others.
They are many factors explaining why Nepal tourism declined when most countries in Asia recorded growth: repeating strikes against the government –the effect is generally a complete shutdown of the country-, the ban of Nepali airlines in Europe due to regular airlines incidents but also the absence of a proper chief at the head of the Nepal Tourism Board depressed markets. The black listing of Nepalese airlines by EU has a deterrent effect on European markets as flying in Nepal is not covered by insurance anymore.
They are many factors behind why Nepal tourism declined when most countries in Asia recorded growth. The factors are continuous strikes against the government, the ban of Nepali airlines in Europe due to regular airlines incidents but also the absence of a proper chief at the head of the Nepal Tourism Board depressed markets. The black listing of Nepalese airlines by EU has a deterrent effect on European markets, as flying in Nepal is not covered by insurance anymore.
The Secretary complained about the insufficient funds to promote Nepal internationally for the Ministry of Tourism. But, when he was asked about the budget that he would desire, Mr. Gimire was unable to provide a single number. Finally, one of his assistant confessed that the budget had been doubled compared to a year earlier but refused to reveal the amount!
The country is also looking at turning more active for spiritual and well-being tourism. Promotion will highlight visiting temples and monasteries, meditation, health, spa & wellness as well as spiritual journey. Nepal is nominated as a “Must-Go recipient” in the list of the New York Times and Kathmandu as the third world’s upcoming destination by Tripadvisor.com will help to draw more visitors in this year.