Nepal is gearing up for Visit Nepal 2020 campaign
Nepal offers a variety of interesting tourism sectors and the aim of the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign is to draw 2 million visitors in the year to come. A country of pristine beauty, Nepal is considered a value destination and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation aims to promote 5 significant sectors. These include People and Heritage, Nature and Wildlife, Culture Cities and Leisure, Religion and Pilgrimage, and Adventure and Outdoor.
A stunning location
Nepal is the small south Asian landlocked country that lies mostly on the Himalayas and partly in the Indus-Ganga plain. China lies on its northern border and India borders it on the south, east and west. India and China are the two main tourist source countries to Nepal, and tourism accounts for 10% of the GDP.
Ironing out of problems
After the 2015 earthquake, the number of visitors to Nepal plummeted. The situation was aggravated by the Indian blockade and the resulting fuel crisis. This caused problems for their transportation and electricity supply and Indian tourists, one of the main tourist sources to Nepal, dried up. The results of the Indian crisis were far more devastating than those of the earthquake.
Besides Kathmandu’s International Airport and the recent renovations there, two more international airports were introduced in Lumbini and Pokhara. Himalayan Airlines has expanded its fleet to meet the demands of the added tourists.
Other positive actions that were taken in the years following the crisis was the addition of hotel rooms, especially in the four- and five-star accommodation and boutique hotels.
Domestic tourism is also a growing trend as Nepali families have an increased disposable income and often spend more than “budget foreign tourists”. Nepali travelers are still spending more on foreign currency than that brought in by foreign visitors, but campaigns within the country hope to remedy that.
Popular things to do in Nepal
Nepal is a peaceful and safe country to travel in and is also very affordable. It is steeped in cultural and religious traditions and has a much-loved ethnic cuisine with tasty foods to try.
Trekking in Nepal
If you are thinking of trekking in Nepal then know that there are a plethora of options and some really breathtaking views to enjoy. These adventures can include anything from a mild walk, to mountaineering, hiking, rafting and jungle safaris.
One of the most popular routes is the Everest Base Camp Trek and includes enjoying Sherpa culture and traditions and visiting monasteries along the way.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Sagarmatha National Park, Kathmandu Valley, Chitwan National Park and Lumbini, the birthplace of the Lord Buddha are the cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage sites of Nepal. However, there is a list of another 15 sites that are on the tentative list. These are all cultural and can be found dotted around the country.
Manakamana (Hindu) Boudhanath Stupa (Buddhist), Swayambhunath (Buddhist), Lumbini (Buddhist temple, monastery and archaeological site) and Muktinath (both a Buddhist and Hindu temple) are some of the most popular. A Hindu majority and a strong Buddhist presence, results in temples scattered all over; improved transportation allows people to visit these far-flung religious sites.
Other reasons for visiting Nepal
Besides pilgrimages and trekking, people visit Nepal for its diverse bird and animal population and its over 200 lakes. The country is the habitat of clouded leopards and the Bengal Tiger.
Kathmandu, the capital, is a popular cultural hub where people enjoy the food and shopping experiences. Durbar Square dates back to the 3rd century and is the place where kings were crowned. It is surrounded by historical courtyards and temples.
The cuisine might be heavily influenced by it Chinese and Indian neighbors, but is a very healthy variant of what one can find further south. Must try delights are momo (their version of dumplings) and Dhal bat (a lentil of chicken curry served with rice, vegetables, pickles and roti bread).
Nepal, the experience of a lifetime
With more and more visitors looking for the experience of a lifetime, Nepal is meeting their needs head-on. Visitors, now more concerned with climate change and becoming strong proponents for localization, are looking to enjoy local food and drinks, buy local textiles, and handcrafts.
Visitors to Nepal find invaluable information on social media and its influencers about the exotic places and interesting things to do. However, the authorities and local tourism entrepreneurs are also meeting the challenges of offering them upgraded services and standards. Their duty is to uphold the conservation efforts of nature and the heritage of Nepal to ensure that tourists recommend it to friends and keep coming back for more.