The third major tourism campaign VISIT NEPAL 2020 is all set for GO! With the logos launched in English, Chinese and Japanese, the tourism minister and stakeholders are determined to welcome as many tourists as possible. The VISIT NEPAL 2020 goal is to bring in 2 million foreign tourists in the year. Of course whether that number is actually achieved is heavily dependent on many factors from infrastructure, access, services, promotion and so on! Nonetheless, if the number of tourist arrivals and tourist spending from foreign and Nepali tourists – continue to increase regardless of the 2 million goal – that is success right there.
Unfortunately, the Visit Nepal ’98 and Nepal Tourism Year 2011 which had the same target of bringing 1 million tourists was unsuccessful in reaching the intended goal. Even the tourist arrival figures in 2017 fell just short of 1 million tourists. However, 2018 has taken off to a flying start and at this rate Nepal will finally break the 1 Million mark by the end of this year! The minister Rabindra Adhikari has stated that he will bring the Gautam Buddha International Airport in operation within one year and has vowed to make the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign successful.
With Buddha Air starting flights to New Delhi from Nepalgunj in the near future and Nepal Airlines flying to Doha daily and Japan. It’s important that Nepal becomes more accessible to travellers and that the airports are able to efficiently handle the air traffic. Along with this improvement in access, training and quality control must be maintained and improved in facilities and services – especially related to tourist sites and destinations.
A good coverage for Nepal this week came in the form of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 List! Lumbini took the Number 7 spot on the ‘Asian Destination You Should See Now’ list.
Well though I find the goal unrealistic, I am definitely going to be visiting Nepal and encouraging as many of my friends as possible. Tracing Nepal 2020 must be a memorable one!