KATHMANDU, Nepal- If the tourism plans prepared by government for this fiscal year worked properly then the tourism sector in the country will be contained with their business all around.
Under its Annual Development Plan 2013-14, the government has envisaged attracting 1.2 million tourists this fiscal year.
The figure is 50 percent higher than the annual tourist arrivals last fiscal 2012-13. The country received 803,092 tourists last fiscal year, according to official data.
The plan has targeted increasing the average length of stay of tourists to 13 days from 12.87 days recorded last fiscal year. The annual development plan has targeted to increase jobs in the travel and tourism sector to 175,000 from last year’s 160,000. It also aims to increase per day spending of tourists to $45 this fiscal year from last year’s $34.93 and increase international airlines’ connectivity to Nepal to 35 from the existing 26.
The National Planning Commission (NPC) last week unveiled the plan, which was devised by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
Based on the policies, programmes and strategies for the development of tourism, the ministry formulates the annual plan coinciding with the budget and is endorsed by the NPC.
The ministry also plans to increase the contribution of tourism to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to 3 percent from the current 2 percent.
According to the plan, the ministry has accorded high priority to infrastructure development, conservation of national heritage sites and promotion of home-stay and village tourism in line with its “Vision 2020”, a tourism perspective plan, which aims to bring in 2 million foreign tourists annually by 2020.
The ministry has also started work on developing specific and exclusive zones for intensive tourism development under its “18 Tourism Zones” plan.