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Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Officials at Nepal’s Tourism Ministry said that the Nepalese government has been working to draft a 10-year National Tourism Master Plan, to fully tap its tourism potential, which will starts by the beginning of 2014. The master plan primarily comprises of three strategies, development, promotion, and marketing.
Mohan Krishna Sapkota, spokesperson of Tourism Ministry told Xinhua, said, “The main objective of this master plan is to make tourism a backbone of Nepal’s economy which has rich culture, nature, and adventure among others.”
The master plan will also include “vision 2020,” which the government expects to receive 2 million foreign tourists each year by 2020. The vision also has a determined target to increase employment in tourism sector to 1 million by then.
Political unsteadiness, fragile state of peace and security and lack of infrastructure, among others, are considered major bottlenecks in harnessing the full potential of Nepal’s tourism. With the declining performance of agriculture and industrial sector, which were once considered main contributor to gross domestic product (GDP), the Nepal government has lately been mulling over the massive exploration of its tourism sector.
At present Tourism accounts for only 3 percent of the country’s GDP. Ministry officials said the master plan would increase the scope and space of tourism in Nepal, such as opening more wild and virgin areas to tourists. Stakeholders said that the country has been lagging behind to harness its tourism potential mainly due to the government’s indifference to the sector.
United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), an establish international organization working for tourism under the banner of UN, has recently prepared the first draft of the master plan and the ministry will hold public debate and discuss with its all stakeholders before giving it a final shape.