Tourism is one important area of focus for Nepal owing to the country’s dependence on tourism revenue.
Despite major natural calamities such as 2015 earthquake, floods in August 2017, among others, Nepali tourism regained its strength in 2017 aiming at a million tourists’ arrival target by the end of 2017.
October 2017 alone witnessed the all-time high of 112,492 tourist arrivals and November was estimated to have more than 130,000 tourists breaking all the past records.
Nepal tourism had gone to a six-year low registering only 538,970 foreign visitors earlier. However, the latest figures over the rise of tourist arrivals appeared as an encouragement to the country’s tourism industry.
Meanwhile, a survey spotted a rise in women mountaineers to Mount Everest, once again proving Nepal’s status as the global destination for adventure sports.
With the rise in tourism activity, Nepal is undergoing a complete transformation in terms of infrastructure and is heading for the completion of key infrastructure projects.
Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and Lumbini’s Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) are among two infrastructure projects that were deferred until 2019.
Upgradation of Bhairahawa airport, the gateway to the pilgrimage destination of Lumbini in south central Nepal, expansion of the Narayanghat-Mugling road, Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project and the reconstruction of monuments & heritage sites (damaged in the 2015 earthquake) are among other key projects that are set to offer needed boost the country’s tourism sector.
Besides, Nepal is also witnessing a lot of hotel construction activity, which is expected to add 4,000 star category rooms to the country by 2020. A dozen hotels are investing more than Rs 40 billion in the Nepali hotel industry.
World Travel Market 2017 is one major event that proved what Nepal means to the world tourism, wherein, a large number of business leaders expressed interest to invest in and collaborate with the Nepali tourism industry.
To overcome the existing drawbacks and offer a better Nepal, the Government of Nepal has postponed its major tourism event Visit Nepal Year 2018 Campaign to 2020 that aims at attracting 1.5 million tourists.
“As we had little time to make preparations for the national campaign, we have decided to reschedule it. However, the ministry will launch a massive marketing campaign in 2019 before starting Visit Nepal Year 2020,” says Ghanshyam Upadhyaya, Tourism Ministry Spokesperson.
In a major announcement to Nepal mountain tourism and dependent communities, the Government of Nepal has also established the Nepal Mountain Academy to ensure high-level education courses in mountaineering.