Nepal, rich in unique cultural and natural heritage, is one of the leading countries in the world from the viewpoint of tourism heritage. Known for the coexistence of different castes and races, religions, languages, literature and culture, Nepal is an example of art, culture and religious harmony. On one hand, by preserving the country’s tangible and intangible archeological heritage; dances, music and festive processions; and costumes, languages and culture on the basis of democratic sentiment, and with the promotion of Nepalese culture and civilization in the world there is an immense opportunity of developing tourism sites, and preserving and conserving cultural sites. On the other hand, growth of tourism industry contributes to the earning of foreign currency, increase in employment, and overall economic prosperity.
Moreover, through the promotion of tourism industry, global friendship can also be enhanced. By developing and expanding the tourism industry to the rural level with intensive and coordinated community tourism, balanced and inclusive development can be achieved and it is probable that this can contribute immensely in poverty alleviation. Due to the country’s geographical structure and inadequate facility of alternate modes of transportation, it is vital to make air transportation affordable, safe, reliable and systematic, and thereby achieving a considerable increase in the number of domestic and foreign tourists.
Review of the Current Situation of Tourism
Focusing on potential markets such as India and China, tourism promotion activities have been carried out also in other countries in the region such as Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Bangladesh. In order to integrate programs by determining tourism centers, tourism hubs have been selected by Nepal Tourism Board. By organizing international meetings and seminars to publicize tourism and the cultural heritages of Nepal, as well as by conducting awareness programs for diversification of the tourism industry, the Destination Nepal Campaign (2002-2003) has been concluded. In order to place Nepal as a remarkable destination in the international tourism map, the task of branding, through the slogan “Naturally Nepal: Once is Not enough” has been completed. Nepal Tourism Year 2011 has also been completed with a grand success. Through these initiatives, and by revealing the unique natural beauty of Nepal in the international market, the task of introducing Nepal as a major destination has been successful.
In order to make a significant contribution towards the national goal of poverty alleviation, and to achieve a sustainable development in tourism, the Tourism for Rural Poverty Alleviation Program (TRPAP) has been successfully completed as a pilot project in 6 districts. This program targets the poor and backward castes and women, Construction of an Integrated Tourism Master Plan with the aim of providing directives to the tourism sector, and the task of making timely improvement and modification in the tourism policy, is nearing completion.
With the objective of producing human resources of international standard, courses in Bachelors in Hotel Management and Bachelors in Travel and Tourism Management, are being offered by the Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management. Likewise, Mountain Academy Nepal, of international standard, has been established. In order to manage mountaineering tourism, the waste management system has been made mandatory for all mountains that have been opened for mountaineering. To make the tourism sector professional and attractive, golden jubilee celebration of the first conquest of Mount Everest and other mountains of more than 8000m height, have been concluded. Plans of waiving royalty for peaks in the Far Western region and other regions, and royalty for other mountains under mountaineering practice, are being reviewed.
During the Tenth Plan period,