Nepal has the potential to be among the top attractions on the global tourism map and has strong prospects to be the top destination in South Asia. Tourism Industry in Nepal is Backbone of Economy. Tourism as an emerging global phenomenon enhances the world travelers to explore the wonders of the world. Nepal is also being an integral part of a global system of tourism cannot escape benefiting from this emerging field. Nepal as a Himalayan nation has enormous tourism prospects. If many unexplored regions of Nepal are identified along with popular tourist destinations the Himalayan state can make remarkable progress in the field of tourism. As one of the world’s largest economic sectors, travel and tourism creates jobs, drives exports, and generates prosperity across the world. So it continues to make a real difference to the lives of millions of people by driving growth, reducing poverty and fostering development. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual research in 2019 shows travel and tourism is one of the world’s booming industries. Tourism has become one of the main income sources for many developing countries like Nepal.
According to Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor Nepal has been ranked as top Tourist destinations in the world for the year 2020. These facts reveal that there are many places in Nepal that could fascinate tourists from around the world. Nepal has great potential to become a top destination for tourists as the nation is famous for its snowcapped mountains, abundant flora and fauna, exciting trekking routes and rich cultural and religious diversity. Tourism is one of the most dynamic and the fastest growing sectors throughout the world. It holds the key of economic growth, employment generation and poverty alleviation to the majority of the world population. However, despite the vast potentials, the market share of international tourism in the developing world is still very low. Tourism sector holds immense potentials for Nepalese economy that can provide impetus to other sectors through backward and forward linkages. If developed properly, it can be a ray of hope for the hither to neglected segments of society and the people in the backward areas. It has the potential to be an engine and dynamo for the Nepalese economy. However, considering the huge potentials for tourism development backed with pristine natural environment, abundant wildlife and rich culture and traditions, tourism development in Nepal is far below the expectations. Tourism development has become more relevant as the state is engaged in building development strategy for socio-economic transformation, social justice and rapid economic progress and prosperity of the country along with the epochal change in the state structure that has brought new implications in the form of opportunities and challenges in all economic sectors including tourism.
In addition to foreign tourists, there is an increasing trend of internal tourists visiting different parts of Nepal. Given the growing commotion of people, lured by the natural, cultural, historical, and ethnic diversity, Nepal is capable of transforming the overall socio-economic status of the country. Some of the major tourism activities in Nepal are mountain climbing, trekking, paragliding, rafting, bungee jumping, mountain flight, rock climbing, mountain biking, jungle safari, rock climbing, bird watching and sightseeing. Hence, use of local products and skills play a pivotal role in promoting tourism that can lead to economic prosperity of the country. Nepal holds great potential for tourism development, which can stimulate economic growth and development. For Nepal, tourism is the main instrument for regional development with positive economic impact on the income, employment and production. In recent years, there has been exponential growth in the number of travel agencies, tour guides, tour operators, rafting agencies and trekking agencies. However, tourism may also have a negative impact on the environment. For sustainable tourism development, there should be optimum utilization of natural resources and minimization of ecological, cultural and social impacts. Additionally, there is a need for conducive policies and strategies by the government that will help improve the livelihood of the local communities through balanced and sectoral tourism development. The government has formulated policies and allocated a budget of Rs 2.68 billion for FY 2019/20 to support the tourism sector in developing infrastructure and encouraging environment -friendly tourism activities. Additionally, the government has allocated Rs 15.85 billion to the aviation sector for the development of domestic and international tourism sector. Many research studies conducted worldwide show that tourism development spurs economic growth. This calls for collective efforts and collaboration among all the stakeholders in formulating amicable policies and strategies to develop the sector that will contribute in achieving higher economic growth.
Tourism is not only a major economic sector of Nepal but also an area with immense potentiality. The Visit Nepal 2020 must not be viewed as a campaign only; it should be recognized as a national development strategy with ownership of the VNY 2020 across the nation by each citizen and the stakeholders of this industry. Right from the airport to every touch point that a visitor to Nepal experiences must be converted to the best possible hospitality we as a country offer our guests. This can be achieved only when every citizen engages in the campaign. Our country is exceptionally gifted in nature, culture and heritage. Many of our beautiful locations are yet to be explored and accessed. Visit Nepal 2020 is Nepal’s commitment to improving its competitiveness through investment, innovation, infrastructure development, regulatory reform, new product offerings, environment and wildlife conservation, and greater efficiencies and excellence in service standards with the objective of developing the tourism industry as a key economic development strategy of the country. The Visit Nepal Year 2020 will act as catalyst to achieving the government agenda to recognize and accelerate the development of the high potential of the tourism industry in the years t0 come even as the government creates ease of doing business for investors and stakeholders with incentives and subsidy provisions, supportive policies, political stability and sound governance. VNY 2020 is prioritizing investment in infrastructure, promoting the industry’s sustainability and ensuring systematic development of new and creative business models adapting to technology and how the world travels today. As the tourism sector expands and changes, it is vital that Nepal retains its importance as a lifetime destination of this important global industry. Admit this, the government has signed an agreement with the Non-Resident Nepali Association to promote the campaign in foreign countries. In cooperation with NRNA, the government is holding ‘Send one foreign friend to visit Nepal’ campaign. The government has also appointed international celebrities as brand ambassadors of the campaign.