The government has announced 2020 as Visit Nepal Year with a target of two million visitors. This target is not difficult to achieve and we may actually be close to this figure already if we take into consideration all tourists coming into Nepal from our multiple border points, often unaccounted. Action plans are being formulated and the Tourism Minister is playing a key role towards meeting this goal. We all know what the challenges are but for me what really stands out is the lack of alignment and ownership from all levels of government and stakeholders.
It is clearly evident that multiple actors and ministries must come together to meet this objective. From infrastructure to investment, from awareness to ownership, every Nepali must feel a part of this campaign. We are opening our doors to two million visitors, what is our individual role in it – is a question every Nepali must ask themselves. We must go beyond statistics and numbers, beyond challenges and problems towards seeing this as a possibility to give Nepal a new image on the global map.
We are more than our mountains, temples and rivers… Nepal is a young country of diverse possibilities, courage and positivity. We have overcome and continue to meet challenges with a desire to do better. How the world travels has changed today… Nepal needs to contemporize and work towards a more experiential tourism campaign; one that interacts and engages with the visitor at all levels. It must also now reflect the strengths and aspirations of all the provinces in the international marketplace.
A synergetic and competitive approach will not only help the economy but give Nepal the impetus it needs as a preferred travel destination. VNY 2020 is country development strategy and must be given the due focus from all in government, private and civic sectors. The success of VNY 2020 will depend on our national pride, willingness and ability to contribute. It has to be understood and owned as a shared common agenda.