Kathmandu, September 11
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai, has proposed giving weekend holidays for two days every week so as to promote domestic tourism in the country.
Currently, the government holiday for the weekend is only Saturdays, but Bhattarai proposes Fridays should also be marked as holidays so that people can go on vacation on the weekends.
“It will give sufficient time for those willing to go on travel. It will be an important step in reviving the tourism industry (hit by the Covid-19 crisis),” Bhattarai says.
Because the coronavirus spread is likely to linger for the next few months across the world, the government has not hoped much foreigner footfall, hence the promotion of domestic tourism can be crucial to surviving the industry, he says.
The government is consulting private businesses and Nepal Tourism Board about possible programmes to promote domestic tourism, the minister informs.
Meanwhile, some entrepreneurs have commented that it was their mistake not to prioritise domestic visitors in the past.
“In the yesteryears, domestic tourists were largely ignored as we were after dollars. But now, we have realised our shortcoming,” Achyut Guragain, the president of the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents, says, “Now, it is high time for us to correct ourselves.”