Slow preparations for ‘Visit Nepal 2020′ worry stakeholders

Slow preparations for ‘Visit Nepal 2020′ worry stakeholders Though the country has announced ‘Visit Nepal 2020′ to promote Nepal as a major tourist destination in South Asia, tepid preparations for the campaign by the government has worried the tourism fraternity.

Slow preparations for ‘Visit Nepal 2020′, After two similar mega tourism campaigns in 1998 and 2011, the ‘Visit Nepal 2020′ campaign is more ambitious with the target to bring in two million tourists annually by 2020. Though the campaign is at the center of achieving this target, tourism stakeholders have begun to doubt its success owing to lack of seriousness on the part of the government in executing the set plans for the campaign.

“Simply announcing a tourism campaign does not ensure that visitors are going to flock to Nepal. Our readiness to welcome visitors and make the campaign unique is what really counts,” said Binayak Shah, general secretary of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), referring to the fact that the government is yet to even finalise the national coordinator for the ‘Visit Nepal 2020′ campaign, not to mention setting up other committees and sub-committees that will be responsible to make the campaign successful.

The government plans to form six different committees and a national committee to promote ‘Visit Nepal 2020′ to address infrastructure bottlenecks, deal with legal issues and develop necessary human resources. Slow preparations for ‘Visit Nepal 2020′.

As per Shah, the government has also not identified the role of the private sector for the tourism campaign. “Unless we develop a timeline, the tourism campaign will not yield desirable results,” added Shah.

Rajendra Sapkota, former board member at Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), stated that crux to Nepal’s tourism growth is proper campaigning. “The ‘Visit Nepal 2020′ can be a game-changer for Nepal’s tourism industry. Slow preparations for ‘Visit Nepal 2020′. But, responsible government bodies have been unable to brand the campaign properly,” said Sapkota.

Besides aggressive media coverage of the tourism campaign, tourism stakeholders have also outlined the need to announce a few subsidy packages for international tourists in 2020, like visa-on-arrival and free visa schemes to encourage them to visit Nepal.

Meanwhile, Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer of NTB, rebuked the allegations that the preparations for Visit Nepal 2020 tourism campaign have been sluggish. “The national coordinator and other committees of ‘Visit Nepal 2020′ will get full shape within one month. However, a lot of other groundwork have been accomplished so far targeting the tourism campaign … it’s just that they have not been publicised,” said Joshi.

Few of such works include finalization of half a dozen international tourism events to be held in Nepal in 2020, initiatives to train 10,000 human resources across Nepal for the event and launch of tourism promotion portals in various languages, including Hindi and Mandarin, among others, as per him.

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