NEPAL EYES 1.5 MILLION TOURISTS IN 2020

NEPAL EYES 1.5 MILLION TOURISTS IN 2020

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Nepal aims to welcome 1.5 million tourists in 2020 with one third of them coming from China and India, Nepal’s Tourism Ministry has said. The country is set to organize the year 2020 as Visit Nepal Year. It will be the third national level initiative to promote Nepal’s tourism sector since the country first celebrated Visit Nepal Year in 1998 followed by the Nepal Tourism Year in 2011.In 2017, Nepal welcomed 940,218 foreign tourists. It expects a growth of foreign tourists by 30 percent every year since 2018 to meet the target of 1.5 million tourists by 2020. “China and India are two largest source markets for Nepal. But, there is still huge scope of more tourist arrivals from these two neighbours. So, our main focus of promotional activities will be China and India for Visit Nepal Year,” Krishna Prasad Devkota, secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said on Tuesday. “We have not set any target of tourist arrivals from China and India for the Visit Nepal Year 2020 so far. But, our tentative estimate is that there will be arrivals of 250,000 each from the two neighboring giants. In 2017, Nepal welcomed 104,664 Chinese and 160,832 Indian tourists.”

Chinese Tourists

Other traditional source markets of Nepal’s tourism are North America and the Europe. However, the country is also planning to explore new source markets including South East Asia and Eastern Europe.“We see great scope of attracting large number of tourists from these new source markets,” said Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer of Nepal Tourism Board, the main tourism promotion body. As the tourism sector is recovering from the twin disasters – deadly earthquake in 2015 and subsequent Indian economic blockade for nearly five months in 2015 and 2016, Nepali government has expected the Visit Nepal Year would be helpful to heavily boost the country’s tourism sector.

As a part of preparation for the Visit Nepal Year, the Nepali government has planned to organize road shows, promoting Nepal in three major cities of China and India in collaboration with tour operators of the two countries. On the other hand, Nepali government has planned to keep Nepal’s only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, open for more than 20 hours a day from current 17 hours a day in the next three months. The target is expected to be aided by the possible completion of another international airport, known as Gautam Buddha International Airport which is expected to be completed by 2019, in Bhairahawa, a southwestern town.

Source: Nepal Travel News

Nepal hopes for more Indian tourists for rapid recovery

Only a third of a total 30,000 seats a week under an air service agreement with India is available due to the limited number of flights between Nepal and India. Tourism entrepreneurs say that gap needs to be cut airlines to help Nepal’s tourism sector recover after the earthquake of April.

Ujjwala Dali, the officiating director of the marketing and promotion department of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), says Nepal needs to bring more Indian tourists not only to fill the remaining seats but also for the tourism industry to recover faster. In an effort to get back on their feet, four months after the devastating earthquake Nepal’s tourism entrepreneurs have travelled all the way to Bangalore and are organizing promotional events there to promote Nepal as a tourist destination and attract Indian tourists.

NTB organized promotional events at the Bangalore Press Club hoping the media there will help relay a message to the people there to visit Nepal.

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Speaking at the event, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter Chairman Suman Pandey said that recognized tour operators and renowned international organizations who had visited Nepal after the earthquake as well as positive advisories from different countries had declared Nepal a safe place to visit. Tourism was open in the country, he said.

Nepal has also launched the NEPAL: BACK ON TOP OF THE WORLD campaign to broadcast that tourism services had resumed and to help bring in foreign tourists.

At an event here in Bangalore, NTB also made public a logo and a slogan ‘NEPAL: BACK ON TOP OF THE WORLD’ to convey the message that Nepal was open for business and ready to welcome tourists.

“The logo and slogan are a part of our recovery campaign and will go on for six months. We request all of you to visit Nepal and be a part of the campaign and help Nepal rebuild,” NTB’s Dali said.

To bring in more Indian tourists to Nepal, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) launched direct flights to Bangalore on September 1, and to Mumbai on Friday after a decade’s hiatus.

“We have announced a special ‘buy two tickets get one free’ offer on round-trip tickets on Kathmandu-Bangalore flights targeting Indian tourists,” Ram Hari Sharma, the corporate director of NAC, said.

Govinda Bahadur Karki, the director general of the Department of Tourism, says that as many as 61 districts out of the total of 75 are unaffected or least-affected by the quake and were ready to welcome tourists while the 14 quake-hit districts are also getting back on their feet and rebuilding.

“After the quake, Nepal had immediately formed the Nepal Tourism Promotion Committee (NTPC) for to work on the recovery of the tourism industry. We have also formed the Nepal Reconstruction Authority (NRA) as a high-powered authority to execute recovery and reconstruction programs,” Karki said.

Pandey says Nepal is expecting to bring in visitor levels to at least 60 to 70 percent of previous times this autumn and hopes to hit the previous levels in the spring of 2016. The country received around 800,000 tourists in 2014.

NAC TO FLY TO Kolkata, SRI LANKA

NAC says it will start flights to Kolkata and Sri Lanka in the near future. Saroj Kasaju, the commercial director of NAC, says the flag carrier is working to begin flights to Kolkata directly and plan to fly to Sri Lanka via Bangalore.

NAC says it may take at least three to four months to starts flights to Sri Lanka, which would be a new destination for NAC.

“Sri Lanka as a new destination and will help augment the flag carrier’s presence,” Sharma, the NAC corporate director, said.

NepalNOW.org WEBSITE IN OPERATION

NTB and a group of tourism entrepreneurs, with support of CBI — a Netherlands-based organization — have launched a public campaign for visiting Nepal through the NepalNOW.org website. The site provides current status information about Nepal.

The NepalNOW movement has received much appreciation from tourism entrepreneurs around the globe and has already created a buzz in the social media, people from the tourism sector say.

NAC resumes flights to Mumbai

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) began scheduled flights to Mumbai on Friday.

According to a NAC statement, its Airbus 320 made fly to Mumbai from Kathmandu on Friday, carrying 52 passengers on board. The flag carrier will fly twice a week to Mumbai — on Mondays and Fridays, according to the statement. NAC has set the one-way fare for Kathmandu-Mumbai flights at Rs 11,109, while two-way fare for the service has been fixed at Rs 22,049.Meanwhile, NAC has also announced to an offer of a free ticket with the purchase of every two two-way tickets on its Kathmandu-Mumbai flights.NAC started flying to Mumbai after a gap of 11 years. The aim of the resumption of flights to the film city is to attract religious tourists, industrialists and tourists.

Source: myrepublica