June 9, 2019 08:32 AM NPT
By: Zenith Shah
KATHMANDU, June 9: Culture, adventure, spirituality, wildlife, and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) will be the major attractions for Visit Nepal Year 2020, according to Suraj Vaidya, national coordinator for Visit Nepal 2020.
Speaking at an international media briefing for Visit Nepal 2020 campaign on the second day of Himalayan Travel Mart (HTM) 2019 on Saturday, Vaidya said: "The campaign will be the story of resilience of the people of Nepal, who are bouncing back from a crippling earthquake four years ago."
"It is about an awakening of spiritual Nepal, about the cultural diversity, and the celebration of the multitude of cuisines. It is about sharing smiles, and most importantly, it is about the famed hospitality we provide as a country," the noted industrialist added.
He also reiterated the government's target to double the number of foreign visitors compared to the 1.1 million figure of 2018, and went on to explain the significance and the standouts of the campaign.
He mentioned that the campaign would introduce and promote several activities targeting to invite more tourists to the country the following year, consequently setting out Nepal as a distinct destination and creating lifetime experiences for visitors here.
He also emphasized on the necessity of spiritual break from a monotonous life, and mentioned the availability of various meditation retreats. The organizing team plans to organize summits and conferences on issues ranging from sustainability to tourism investments, and hold numerous other programs over the year.
"Most often, tourists limit their Nepal visit to the golden triangle of Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan -- the three main places of attraction. But VNY 2020 plans to unveil some of the many unexplored destinations of the country to the tourists," added Sunil Sakya, chairperson of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal chapter.
Tourism industry has long been one of the major sources of national income, owing to the unique composition of the country. It has been generating billions of rupees annually in the recent years as Nepal remains a destination for tourists from across the globe.
Capitalizing on the natural, cultural and geographical strengths of the country, VNY 2020 aims to cross the 2-million figure of arrivals from the coming year.
The hour-long session was preceded by a plenary session on “Travel Media: Then and Now” that featured Norie Quintos, editor-at-large at National Geographic Travel Media, Janicke Hansen, president of Professional Travel Blogger Association (PTBA), and Lex Limbu, a professional blogger, as the speakers.
Organized jointly by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal chapter, among others, HTM 2019 is the third edition of the annual business-to-business (B2B) program that brings together global buyers and Himalayan sellers as well as other tourism stakeholders from across the globe.
The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli on June 6, and is scheduled to conclude on June 9.