Published on : Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, for decades Nepal has been a great attraction for adventurers, thrill-seekers and mountain lovers, but the landlocked country aims to diversify its tourism with the help of campaigns and art festivals and rekindle romance among Indian honeymooners.
For encouraging tourism, boosting employment and changing perceptions, the Nepalese government launched ”Visit Nepal Year 2020” (VNY 2020) campaign this January, almost five years after a devastating earthquake killing nearly 9,000 people and leaving the country’s already weak infrastructure broken.
The campaign has been widely publicized by the Nepalese government both within the country and outside.
A total of 1.17 million tourists visited Nepal in 2019 via air and land routes, which is a slight decline from 2018, when 1.52 million people visited the country.
India was Nepal’s top source of tourists in 2019. A total of 2,09,611 Indian tourists visited Nepal in 2019 while 1,69,543 Chinese visitors traveled to the Himalayan nation in the same year.
Through these festivals, many international artistes, filmmakers, photographers, writers, and curators will visit Nepal and also expose the country to their worldwide followers, said the campaign in a statement.
Many international art festivals like Kathmandu Triennale (International Arts Festival), Photo Kathmandu (International Photo Festival), Jazzmandu (International Jazz Music Festival) and KIMFF (International Mountain Film Festival) would be held during the year.
The campaign’s national coordinator Suraj Vaidya said that their primary focus is to attract tourists from countries which have direct flight connectivity with Nepal like India and Malaysia.
“Malaysia is an important market for us as is Singapore,” Vaidya said.
He said that India and Nepal share deep cultural and family ties, with open borders, cross border marriages and friendship.
Vaidya said that Nepal is aiming to provide its visitors with a “lifetime experience” by stirring their spirituality, and through adventure sports, pilgrimages, wildlife sanctuaries among others.
Besides help from the Indian people, Nepal also expects some “neighbourly support” at the government level.
Besides other activities, Nepal also allows foreigners to take pleasure in casino experience. Even though locals are banned from taking part in it, they can be employed there.