New project to be floated for NTY 2011

KATHMANDU: To make Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011 a grand success and foster wider economic growth, the government has planned a ‘one-district, one-destination’ identification programme.

Speaking about tourism promotion and plans for NTY 2011, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Sharad Singh Bhandari said, “The government is coming up with tourism development programmes and preparations will be made to attract a million tourists in NTY 2011.”

He added said that for the promotion of NTY 2011 the government will prepare a one-district, one-destination identification programme with infrastructure development and promotion of particular places. Tourism is the only sector which generates mass benefit, therefore for the promotion of this sector and the nation as well the national flag is the strongest medium, said Bhandari.

The minister said that the government is planning to operate seven national carriers within five years. “At present, we are working on bringing two national carrier aircrafts,” said Bhandari adding that for this purpose government will take the lead while the private sector works to create a proper business environment. He also focused on the role to be played by Nepal Tourism Board to implement the Public Private Partnership concept. The budget 2009-10 too addressed the promotion of NTY 2011. According to the budget, preparations will be made to observe Nepal Tourism Year 2011 with the aim of attracting 10,00,000 tourists to Nepal through a campaign with the slogan of “Nepali Temperament, Welcome and Hospitality of Guests”. Under this programme, packages will be developed to attract tourists in partnership with successful organizations and institutions of the tourism sector along with massive publicity.

According to Bhandari, the government plans to develop night operations airport at Simra and Dhangadhi while weighing the possibility of cross-border linkage between Janakpur and Patna (India) so as to facilitate Indian tourists. Pokhara Valley Tourism

Development Authority will be established aiming at tourism-based town planning and

the authority will design

and develop plans for the town planning.

The budget has allocated Rs 250 million for upgrading airports at Rajbiraj, Janakpur, Humla, Mugu, Kalikot and Dolpa along with Rs 100 million for the extension of Dhangadhi airport. The airport at Simra and Dhangadhi will be developed and equipped for night landings and take-offs Construction of an international Airport in Nijgadh of Bara will started on a priority basis. Work to build regional airports at Pokhara and Lumbini will be initiated.

Meanwhile, Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) president Prasiddha Bahadur Pandey said that talks over the closure of hotels and lodges at National Chitwan Park are on. Pandey said the jungle safari at National Chitwan Park is one of the worlds tourism attractions and which would be negatively affected by the closure.