Nepal plans boost for tourism sector

The government plans to launch the `Nepal Tourism Year 2011` in a bid to give a boost to the sector still reeling under the impact of a decade-long Maoists-led insurgency which came to an end in 2006.

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2010, 21:04 PM IST

Kathmandu: The government plans to launch
the `Nepal Tourism Year 2011` in a bid to give a boost to the
sector still reeling under the impact of a decade-long
Maoists-led insurgency which came to an end in 2006.

The government plans to hold a grand function on
January 14 next year to formally launch `Nepal Tourism Year
2011` (NTY) in a bid attract one million tourists, including
nearly 3 lakh from neighbouring India.

The tourism sector is largest foreign exchange earner
for the country.

"We are planning to bring in 2.68 lakh tourists from
India, 1 lakh from China, 76,000 from Sri Lanka, 40,000 from
Bangladesh and 6,000 from Pakistan during the year," said
Yogendra Shakya, the national coordinator of NTY 2011 steering
committee.

Tourism Secretary Kishor Thapa said that Nepal is
observing the NTY 2011 event with a view to spread the message
that Nepal is a safe, exciting and peaceful destination for
international visitors.

It was expected that with the end of the Maoists-led
decade-long insurgency in 2006, the country`s tourism sector
would get a boost. However, the country has been faced with
political and economic instability, impacting the tourism
sector.

More than two months after the 22-party coalition led
by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal collapsed, seven rounds
of Parliament vote has failed to elect a new leader, deepening
the political crisis in the country.

The country has been in political limbo since the
June 30 resignation of Nepal, who is currently heading a
caretaker government.

Thapa also said that Nepal will host the Asian Tourism
Ministers meet on January 14 in which tourism ministers from
some 24 countries are expected to visit the country.

"We are also hosting SAARC Tourism Ministers
Conference on January 13 and SAARC expert group`s meeting on
the theme of tourism on January 12," he said.

Thapa was speaking at an interaction programme between
officials of Nepal Tourism Board, tourism ministry, heads of
diplomatic missions and journalists yesterday.

A gathering of 20,000 people are expected during the
launch of the NTY 2011.

The programme will be followed by a day-long workshop
on tourism next day.

PTI