Kathmandu, May 21
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nepal signed an agreement on Monday to develop the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) framework and promote sustainable tourism in the country.
As per the pact, TSA will be developed with technical support from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and funding from UNDP. Meanwhile, NTB has already allocated Rs eight million for TSA.
NTB, in association with Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), started the work for TSA last year under the initiative of late tourism minister Rabindra Adhikari.
However, the work was affected due to lack of technical experts. As per NTB, they have already compiled the required data from NRB and CBS. However, the data of domestic tourism is difficult to compile.
As the country does not have any mechanism to keep records of domestic tourism, it was difficult for NTB to compile the data. Thus, to collect data of domestic tourist movement and income, a sampling method has to be utilised, for which, NTB had completed all preparatory works.
Meanwhile, Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer of NTB, said that the work that had been halted due to lack of human resources and technical expertise will now move ahead immediately.
“As tourism plays a significant role in socio-economic development, the project will help understand the size of tourism economy and further strengthen the tourism sector’s contribution in promoting people’s livelihoods and the local economy,” he further added.
Nepal accords high priority to tourism development and several new initiatives have been announced by the government for research, development and promotion of the sector.
Tourism Satellite Account framework is one such prioritised initiative, which will support in providing credible data supporting the promotion of the tourism sector, Joshi stated.
As per Kashi Raj Bhandari, senior director of NTB, it will take at least two years to complete the works related to TSA and from then on the team responsible for TSA will compile data every two years.
The Tourism Satellite Account will help compile data of all inbound, outbound and domestic tourism. Likewise, it will measure the contribution of the tourism industry to the national GDP, tourism’s ranking as compared to other economic sectors, number of jobs created by the sector, amount of investment in the industry, tax revenue generated by the sector, tourism consumption, and tourism’s impact on Nepal’s balance of payments, among others.
A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.