KATHMANDU:

Nepal government has announced the launch of Visit Nepal campaign version 3.0 in 2020 with the goal of attracting 2 million foreign tourists.

Originally, the campaign was planned in 2018 but has been postponed after its preparation was not completed due to series of elections in the country.

“The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation postponed the Visit Nepal 2018 campaign till 2020 due to the slow pace of the road and airport upgradation and heritage restoration projects,” said Ghanshyam Upadhyay, spokesperson for the ministry.

The government is also waiting the new international airport in Bhairahawa to be completed before the national campaign. By 2019, the Gautam Buddha International Airport will be completed. However, the reconstruction of historical monuments and cultural heritage sites will not be fully completed.

According to the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), the country would see an addition of 10,000 room nights across the country, 4,000 in the Kathmandu Valley alone, by 2020. So, there won’t be problems with availability of rooms.

The Federal Budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 has mentioned focusing the promotional activities on the two giant neighbours, China and India, which have the world’s highest outbound numbers.

The first national tourism campaign was launched in 1998 when Nepal hosted 463,684 visitors, representing a growth of 10 percent. In 2011, the government launched another Nepal Tourism Year campaign with the goal of bringing 1 million tourists. Although actual arrivals fell short of the target, 736,215 tourists visited the country, or a growth of 22 percent over the previous year.