Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on Monday announced Bikram Sambat 2073 as ‘Ghumphir Barsa’, which means travel year, in a bid to promote domestic tourism. The initiative is part of the government’s preparations to organize International Tourism Year 2017-18.
A minister-level decision had approved the proclamation of Ghumphir Barsa last Friday.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will make a special announcement of the programme, the first of its kind, on April 24 to commemorate the first anniversary of the April 25 earthquake.
“As our domestic tourism requires promotion, we have decided to conduct a wide promotional campaign to encourage domestic sightseers to travel in Nepal,” said Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of the NTB. “The programme is part of the preparations to declare 2017-18 as International Tourism Year.”
The NTB has allocated a budget of Rs2 million to carry out promotional activities to make the programme a success.
The board will encourage the private sector to create special packages targeting Nepali travellers. “NTB will help the private sector to promote the tour packages,” said Joshi.
Likewise, the tourism promotional body has suggested to the government to allocate a separate budget for travel leave concessions for government employees in the next fiscal year. “Besides, the NTB has also planned to encourage the corporate sector to provide travel leave holidays.”
As per the plan, a booklet will be published describing the tour packages developed by travel and tour operators, the board said. In a bid to promote new destinations, travellers will be offered schemes and incentives, said Joshi.
“We are not aware of our geography as we have not travelled in Nepal,” said Ambica Shrestha, senior tourism entrepreneur and president of Dwarika’s Hotel. “Let’s visit Nepal and let the country move ahead. I believe this programme will encourage Nepalis to explore their country and promote tourism,” said Shrestha.
There are no statistics regarding domestic tourism in Nepal, but travel trade entrepreneurs said that the trend was on the rise owing to young travellers and adventure lovers who are exploring new ways of recreation.
They said that places like Pokhara, Chitwan, Muktinath and the Annapurna Circuit, among others, have been receiving a large number of domestic visitors due to a growing middle class.
source: the kathmandu post,12 april 2016