Kathmandu, January 9
After a wait of long 19 years, Nepal has finally achieved the target of welcoming at least one million foreign tourists in one year.
Nepal Tourism Board under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation says total 1 million and 60,000 foreigners visited the country in 2017. It is the preliminary record and the number may change in detailed calculation.
In 1998, the government had set the target of receiving at least one million foreigners as it marked the Visit Nepal 1998 campaign. It, however, failed to meet the target in any year since then.
CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli-led government in 2016 had announced to mark 2018 as the Visit Nepal Year again in a bid to welcome one million tourists. The country, however, met the target one year earlier without announcing any campaign.
Tourism entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have been complaining that the government’s target is too low to strive for. They say Nepal should aim at welcoming at least 1.5 to 2.5 million tourists every year.
The entrepreneurs hope that Nepal will receive at least 1.24 million visitors in 2018 if the industry faces no significant obstruction. Hotel Association Nepal General Secretary Binayak Shah says hotels of the country can accommodate as much as 1.6 million tourists.
Before 2017, the year that received the highest number of tourists was 2012, when 803,000 foreigners had visited the country.
“Our long-awaited dream has come true,” Nepal Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Deepak Raj Joshi says, “Now, we will make our efforts to increase the number in the days to come.”
Published on January 9th, Tuesday, 2018 11:28 AM
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