KATHMANDU, Nov 12: The government has asked local units to prepare master plan for infrastructure development in 100 potential tourist destinations across the country.
If the master plan is already ready, the local units need to start construction work at the earliest on priority basis, reads a working procedure for budget disbursement and program implementation in 100 new destinations, unveiled by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation on Monday.
The ministry has allocated a total Rs 500 million for the implementation of 100 new destinations program. It is providing Rs 5 million to local units to build necessary infrastructure at the selected destinations. The budget provided by the ministry should be used for infrastructure development, according to the working procedure.
The ministry prepared the working procedure after local units failed to financial and physical progress report to the ministry for budget disbursed in the last fiscal year.
The government had unveiled the list of 97 tourist destinations in November last year. Remaining three destinations were announced during 40th World Tourism Day celebration in Kathmandu earlier in September.
According to tourism ministry officials, the new destinations were selected in order to promote them among both domestic and international tourists. The ministry believes the new destinations will help to increase tourists' length of stay and spending in Nepal.
The ministry announced the program in partnership with provincial and local governments for identifying, developing and promoting 100 new tourist destinations across the country. The program was announced amid complaints of the provincial governments and local units over indifference showed by the ministry for development of potential tourism destinations at the local level.
The program also intends to support the 'Visit Nepal Year 2020' campaign by providing tourists new destinations to visit.
Of the 100 destinations, Province 1 has 17, Province 2 has 9 and Province 3 has 18. Similarly, Gandaki Province and Province 5 had 18 and 16 destinations, respectively, while Karnali Province and Sudurpashchim Province have 11 each.