KATHMANDU, Aug 4: The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has plans to identify and develop 100 new tourist destinations across the country in the current Fiscal Year 2018/19.
Presenting a five-year plan of the ministry in Kathmandu on Thursday, Ghanashyam Upadhyay, a joint secretary at the ministry, said that the government will identify, develop and promote 100 new tourist destinations in all districts of the country within five years.
The government plan comes at a time when the country is celebrating ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ with an ambitious target of brining two million international tourists in the country.
Upadhyay said the ministry will work in close coordination with sub-national governments to identify and develop the new tourist destinations.
He said that each province will have at least 10 new tourist destinations that will be widely promoted by the government in the domestic and international markets. Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) will be entrusted with the responsibility to develop and promote these tourist destinations.
“By developing and promoting the new tourist destinations, along with other initiatives, there will be distribution of domestic and international tourists nationwide that will benefit all provinces,” said Upadhyay.
According to Nita Pokharel Aryal, another joint secretary at the ministry, a task force for the identification and selection of new destinations will be formed and a public notice will be issued by the end of this month for suggestions.
The initiative of the ministry comes in the wake of the complaints from provincials and local governments that many prospective tourist destinations have not got proper attention and promotion.
The task force will set the criteria for the selection of new tourist destinations. By mid-October, the government will develop a blueprint for investment on infrastructure of these new tourist destinations in partnership between the private sector and local and provincial governments, according to the government plan.
Apart from developing the new tourist destinations, the ministry also plans to build tourism development area (TDA) in each of the seven provinces. The ministry also plans to set up at least one museum in each province within the next five years.
The government has unveiled number of programs and policies that it wants to implement in the next five years with a target to increase the tourist arrivals and raise the contribution of tourism sector to GDP by four times, from the current 2.8 percent to 10 percent.
The government is also planning to purchase eight new aircrafts in the current fiscal year. According to the plan, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) will initiate the process of buying eight new aircraft by the fiscal year-end. The NAC currently has 13 aircrafts in its fleet.