Kathmandu, December 30
The country’s tourism sector made the headlines in the local and international media a number of times in 2019 — unfortunately not for the right reasons every time.
With the government observing the year 2020 as Visit Nepal Year (VNY), the entire tourism sector in the year 2019 was focused on making necessary preparations for the mega campaign that aims to bring in two million tourists into the country next year.
The preparation for the campaign formally kicked off with the setting up of a campaign secretariat in November of 2018, under the coordination of industrialist Suraj Vaidya.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) also introduced 100 new destinations for the campaign with an aim to lengthen the average stay of tourists. MoCTCA also requested all the ministries, media, local governments, industrialists, tourism associations, celebrities and other stakeholders to help make the campaign successful.
Similarly, the government also signed an agreement with Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) to promote VNY in the respective countries that NRNs are residing in at the moment. ‘Send one foreign friend to visit Nepal’ campaign was also implemented.
The campaign secretariat also decided to establish promotional centres at all Nepali embassies across the world to promote the campaign jointly with NRNA. The logo and banners of VNY 2020 were posted on local buses, subways and rail stations in Canada and the UK. Meanwhile, international celebrities were appointed as ambassadors to promote the campaign in different countries.
The government announced subsidies on expedition royalty for virgin peaks. The forest and environment ministry made preparations to provide free entrance at national parks for trekking and mountaineering enthusiasts. Likewise, Tribhuvan International Airport — the country’s sole international airport — was being upgraded into a boutique airport.
Nepal Tourism Board announced of providing language and skill training to around 2,000 taxi drivers in the valley for the convenience of tourists. Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) too said it would provide hospitality and skill training to 2,000 people involved in travel and trekking industry.
Furthermore, Nepal Airlines Corporation launched late night service at its ticket booking centre located in New Road.
Amidst this, the Nepali Army said it planned to organise year-long event in 2020. Marathon, paragliding, jungle safari, trekking, and multinational joint military Everest expedition will be organised from January to December in different districts.
With a target to attract more tourists, the private sector introduced different offers for 2020.
The Hotel Association Nepal will offer a 30 per cent discount on hotel packages. TAAN has introduced three new trekking routes close to Annapurna region and also conducted studies of five new trekking routes outside Kathmandu valley.
The TAAN secretariat also announced special discount packages on the new routes during VNY 2020. Trekking agencies will provide 20 to 30 per cent discount on trekking packages for trekkers booking packages to new destinations.
Meanwhile, TAAN members will also provide 15 per cent discount to both foreign and domestic tourists on regular trekking packages.
Likewise, the Home Stay Association of Nepal will provide 20 per cent discount on their services in 2020. The offer will be available in both community and private homestay services across the country.
Read the full news article on The Himalayan Times.