KATHMANDU, Oct 7: The Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) has said that Nepal can attract more tourists as the country is getting less than a million tourists per year despite being placed by many among six best tourist destinations in the world.
Tourist footfall decreased by 32 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 due to earthquake, said the NRNA which organized a program in the capital on Thursday together with the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to showcase the possibilities and challenges for Nepali tourism industry and the role of NRNA in tourism promotion.
NRNA and NTB had signed a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) on May 16 to promote tourism industry of the country under the campaign 'Athithi Dewo Bhawa'. NRNs had made commitment to send their at least three friends to Nepal.
On the occasion, NRNA, which was established in 2003 with the motto 'For Nepali, by Nepali', also requested the NTB to organize FAM trips for tour operators and media, organize street festivals, create effective web pages, and play advertisements in leading media outlets for tourism promotion.
NRNs also said that the government should play a key role to increase number of tourists in the country. The government should improve roads conditions, make arrival of tourists easy, and develop more connectivity and relation with targeted countries, they suggested.
Speaking at the program, Deepak Raj Joshi, the CEO of NTB, said that the NRNA can help a lot to increase tourist flow into Nepal. He also requested NRNs to spread positive image of Nepal, promote NTB's brand Naturally Nepal: Once is not Enough, and spread Nepal's culture and rich heritage for tourism development.
Similarly Shesh Ghale, the president of the NRNA, said that there should be an understanding for tourism promotion among embassies, consulate offices and the NRNA.
Shankar P Adhikary, the secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, said that it was unfortunate that Nepal was failing to bring more tourists to the country despite its strategic location between two booming economies - China and India.
The government is planning to celebrate 'Nepal Visit Year' in 2018 to increase the number
Speaking at the program, Som Nath Sapkota, Honorary Public Relation Representative to Denmark, said that he organized different meetings with tourism stakeholders of Nepal, met with different dignitaries of Danish parliament, NGOs, and travel agencies for promotion of Nepal in Denmark.