Nepal Tourism Decade 2023-2032 launched to revive tourism sector post Covid 19 pandemic

 Tuesday, December 27, 2022 


With an aim to revive tourism and attract 3.5 million tourists, excluding India and those coming overland, in the next 10 years, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation in Nepal on Friday unveiled the strategic framework designed for the Nepal Tourism Decade 2023-2032.

The new plan has been brought forward three years after Visit Nepal 2020 which was called off in March 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe. Unveiling the framework on Friday, Tourism Minister Jeevan Ram Shrestha said that the new plan’s objective is to revive the country’s tourism sector after the two years setback of Covid-19 and establish Nepal as a year-round destination.

The plan aims to increase tourist spending to $125 from the existing $48, create 1 million direct jobs in the tourism sector, increase the tourism sector’s contribution to national GDP to 10 percent and bring the tourist numbers to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

The framework has been developed by a four-member expert panel led by the former Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) CEO Prachanda Man Shrestha.

The new plan has outlined areas of focus for each year from 2023 to 2032. While 2023 will be the year for preparations, 2024 will be focused on Bagmati Province, 2025 on Gandaki Province, and 2027 on Lumbini Province. In 2028, the focus will be on Madesh Province, while in 2029, 2030, and 2031, Sudur Paschhim, Province 1, and Karnali Province will get the focus. The year 2026 and 2032 will be marked by national-level programs.

The tourist arrivals hit a 34-year low in 2020 when only 230,085 foreigners visited Nepal. The next year, the situation was even worse as Nepal received only 150,962 foreigners, the lowest since 1977. In 2019, Nepal had 1.2m tourists visiting the country.

The government’s new grand plan has received mixed reactions from Tourism entrepreneurs and experts. While Binayak Shah, first Vice president of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) welcomed the government’s move as a good decision, Deepak Raj Joshi, former CEO of NTB has a different opinion and said that the whole concept of organizing a Tourism Year or Tourism Decade is now old-fashioned.

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