Nepal announces “Travel Year” to promote internal tourism

KATHMANDU, April 11 (Xinhua) — Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) announced “Travel Year” on Monday to promote the internal tourism as the country’s tourism industry has been struggling to recover from last year’s earthquake and subsequent blockade in the country southern border points.

The campaign was announced based on Nepal calendar year 2073BS (Bikram Sambat) that begins on April 13.

It is the first time that the Himalayan country announced Travel Year targeting to promote domestic tourism.

Earlier, Nepal had implemented “Visit Nepal 1998” and “Nepal Tourism Year 2011” targeting international visitors.

NTB, Nepal’s main tourism promotion body, said that the move was to encourage local people to travel various tourism destinations within the country.

“At a time when number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal has decreased since the last year’s earthquake, the promotion of internal tourism makes sense,” said Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer of NTB. Foreign tourist arrivals to Nepal came down to a six-year low in 2015.

Among the activities that the NTB has planned under “Travel Year 2073” include: promoting the new tourism destinations based on the package proposed by local people, promoting various destinations in major cities including capital Kathmandu where people have more disposable income and carrying out various promotional activities during major festivals when people prefer to travel.

Nepalese tourism entrepreneurs welcomed the NTB’s move. Bhawani Rana, senior vice-president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) said boosting of internal tourism would help flagging the tourism industry to bounce back stronger.

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