BUDGET : Infrastructure is key

Ambika Shrestha, chairman, Dwarika Hotel

Tourism, being one of the major sectors in Nepal, is awaiting better infrastructure development to increase foreign exchange earnings for the national coffer and create more employment opportunities.

However, due to weak promotion of tourism products, the sector has not flourished.

Increasing airport facilities is a key to make tourists visit here the second time. Domestic airports are also in need of improvement.

At the main entry points from India to Nepal, better facilities are required at the earliest possible. Although, Indian tourists are coming to Nepal, tourists from other countries’ are not growing, thanks to various problems.

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), which is the designated organisation to promote tourism, needs a timely boost to make tourism sustainable.

The recent prime minister’s visit to India was quite successful in terms of tourism promotion as the limitation of air seats has been waived off and Nepal has been included in the destination list of India’s civil servants.

It is of utmost importance that our aviation policy ensures strict ‘aircraft safety’.

As a whole, there is a need to develop a relief package to boost tourism for which the private sector and the government should work together.

Due to inconsistencies in tariff rates between five star hotels and other hotels, hotel industry is really facing a crisis. Some hotels have already closed shop, thanks to unhealthy competition among hoteliers.

Vehicles which are purchased for the purpose of tourism promotion, as per government’s permission, should be changed every five years from the current provision of 10 years. It is not practical to keep vehicles for 10 years.