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Strategic tourism plans to bring 2m tourists every year

A beautiful scene of Rara Lake in Nepal. Tourists from across the globe visit Nepal to enjoy natural beauties as the lake and the Himalayas. Photo: File photo/agency
A beautiful scene of Rara Lake in Nepal. Tourists from across the globe visit Nepal to enjoy natural beauties as the lake and the Himalayas. Photo: File photo/rara-lake.com

KATHMANDU, Nepal- In its bid to make the country as one of the top tourism destination in the world the government is working on formulating the 10 year-long ‘Tourism Master Plan’ and 5 year-long ‘Strategic Tourism Working Plans’.

A source at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) said that the ministry has intensified works on Master Plans and Working Plans. Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has been assisting the ministry in developing the plans while the ministry is discussing for inputs with the other concerned ministries.

The ministry and the NTB have organized discussion programmed with the concerned agencies at three different locations last week. On last Tuesday the ministry had discussed the matter with concerned agencies in Kathmandu. While a similar discussion programmes were organized two weeks back in Biratnagar and one in Pokhara on last Thursday.

The strategical plans will be made in such a way that will support the government’s preparation to welcome two million tourists by 2020 through its ‘Vision Twenty’ plan, said spokesperson at Tourism Ministry, Mohan Krishna Sapkota, adding that the plans are the road map for the tourism development in the country.

“The existing dilemma in provisioning any projects and policies targeting the tourism sector due to lack of any plans will now get over after the formulation of the strategic plans,” Sapkota said. According to him, the five years implementation plans will be made after formulating ten years strategical plans.

The Ministry of Finance is funding the projects in which two international aid agencies, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Swiss Aid Agency (SNV) is providing technical and financial support.

A working committee along with a directing committee has also been formed to work on drafts of the plan.  In the committee are Tourism Secretary as Chairman and representatives from different tourism related organizations including Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), Trekking Agents’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Nepal Association of Travel and Tour Agencies (NATTA) along with secretary of the concerned ministries.

“The plans will be finalized within two months now,” Sapkota, who is also the coordinator of the working Committee said, “Tourism sector would benefit a lot with the plans”.

According to Sapkota, the Master Plan will be implemented for 10 years from 2014 to 2024  while the working plan will be performed by 2019.

“Since the concerned have not taken it seriously and implemented the provisions incorporated in earlier made plans, this time the ministry is cautious to give space to the concerned agencies,” Sapkota said. “All the tourism related organizations and agencies have been working with great concern this time”.

According to him, the plans will have the research output and techniques for promoting Nepal in the international market, making Nepal’s tourism brand, marketing among others. The plan will also assist the concerned with unveiling new destinations and best way of implementing various marketing tools.

Though the tourism business has been identified as major source in the national economy, no strategic plans targeting the tourism business has been made so far except the 1972 Tourism Master Plan and the Tourism Policy 2065 B.S.

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