Sarthak Byanjankar

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Published On: March 25, 2018 08:54 AM NPT By: Sarthak Byanjankar

Motivate youths to travel

Motivate youths to travel

I personally love writing diaries and adore traveling. And yet, those two things have never been able to come together, conjugate into one. One of these days I plan to change it and so does the government with its ‘Tourism Vision 2020’.

It aims at increasing the number of International Tourism to two million by 2020 and does a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat) analysis aimed at ways and steps the government can undertake to achieve its stated goals. However, the vision isn’t specific as to what it plans to do to promote domestic tourism. When the middle class family is on the rise and working age poised to dominate the demography of the nation for the decade to come, it doesn’t make economic sense for the government to forsake such a vital portion of their consumer.

Granted, we don’t travel as much as foreigners do or spend as much. However, what we lack in spending and frequency can be outdone with the sheer volume of youngsters willing to explore Nepal if provided with incentives and appropriate promotional campaign.

Youngsters themselves have started to explore Nepal on their own without any intervention. What was limited to few locations such as Pokhara, Dharan has now expanded to include Manang-Mustang, Dolakha, Rara and other locations that aren’t promoted properly. Also, adventure sports like Paragliding, bungee-jumping, rafting which were first aimed at international tourists have now been successfully penetrated and dominated by domestic travelers. People now trek more, travel more than ever before in the country’s history. People are now opting for solo travels in a journey to discover themselves and in the process fall in love with the diversity both in landscapes and culture as famed by many historians.

It pains me to acknowledge this but we as a nation don’t like to travel. A colleague of mine hailed from USA who despite being junior than me has traveled 13 countries, more than the number of districts I have traveled within Nepal. Even if I forego the comparison of districts with countries and compare just the paces within Nepal, I lack far behind her. I have spent 22 winters here in Nepal, she just 12 weeks and yet she has been to places that I’ve not yet seen. Being born and brought up in the valley itself, I have never found the need or desire to go beyond my comfort zone. I can blame my lack of travel in the circumstances but what lies in the center of it all is my unwillingness, not the unwillingness of my desire to travel but rather my unwillingness to the act on the desire to travel.

Hence, come 2020 I envision to travel if possible at least 20 districts, if not I’ll gladly settle for imprinting memories of 20 new places in the travel diary of mine. For that, finance though being an issue isn’t the sole hindrance. If the government is serious about increasing revenue from tourism, it is paramount for it to not ignore but focus on the burgeoning new segment of the demography and pave way for establishing a nation of travelers. It won’t happen overnight as Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

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