World Tourism Day marked in Nepal aiming to attract more foreign tourists

28th March, 2019

Kathmandu: Nepal celebrated the 39th World Tourism Day under the theme of “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” by organizing various events across the country on Thursday. Besides rallies, heritage walks and cultural programs, a special event was organized in Kathmandu by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, participated by officials of ministry and Nepal Tourism Board, tourism entrepreneurs and representatives from various tourism related associations. Addressing the function, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari said Nepal’s tourism development is encouraging and the government is determined to promote tourism in the global sphere. “We have diversity in tourism destinations which need to be commercialized. We are committed to prioritizing digitalization and promoting the country in international market,” Adhikari said. Stating that the reconstruction of quake-damaged heritage sites and the construction of new international airports were proceeding rapidly, the minister hoped Nepal would achieve the target of welcoming 2 million tourists. With the ambitious plan of “Visit Nepal Year” in 2020, the Nepali government has set a target to bring in 2 million tourists. According to the authorities, Nepal’s second international airport, which is under construction in Lumbini near the birth place of Gautam Buddha, has been regarded as one of the bases for meeting the target of tourists. Similarly, upgrading of the sole international airport of the country Tribhvan International Airport and development of other infrastructures in religious, cultural and natural tourism destinations have boosted the confidence of Nepal to bring in more foreign tourists. Nepal welcomed 940,218 foreign tourists in 2017, while by the end of July the country has already witnessed arrivals of 593,299 foreign tourists. According to Nepal Rastra Bank, Nepal’s earning from tourism sector climbed to 643 million U.S. dollars in the last fiscal year 2017-18 which concluded in mid-July. Tourism is emerging as a key sector for foreign exchange earnings for the country, which boasts a large section of Himalayas including the world’s tallest Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) and Lord Buddha’s birth place Lumbini.