FinMin stresses timely completion of GBIA

Kathmandu, August 2

Minister of Finance Yubaraj Khatiwada today said that timely completion of Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) is a major precondition for the growth of Nepal's tourism industry.

Citing that Nepal needs to increase the number of international flights and aircraft to draw in more foreign tourists and achieve tourism goals, Finance Minister Khatiwada stressed on the need to complete the construction of GBIA on schedule to ease international flight movements and flow of tourists.

Speaking at a programme organised by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Finance Minister Khatiwada said, “Nepal has high prospects of drawing tourists from India and China if good infrastructure and tourism products are developed. However, all tourism-related plans and targets will go in vain if the country is unable to improve tourism infrastructure and international flight connectivity in the coming years.”

The government has set the new target to operate GBIA by July next year. Initially, the GBIA project was supposed to be completed by December of 2017. “Operation of GBIA is crucial also to achieve the government's target to draw two million tourists annually by 2020,” added Khatiwada.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the physical progress of GBIA so far is more than 50 per cent.

Similarly, Khatiwada also said that hoteliers in the country should also gradually double the existing bed capacity in line with the increasing flow of tourists in the country.