Tourism Policy 2065 sees light of day

Kathmandu, March 26:

Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) has, after some amendments, brought the Tourism Policy 2065.

The government will provide Rs 10 subsidy on diesel and has withdrawn electricity demand charge for hotels, just like manufacturing industries. Addressing a press meet here today, Minister for Tourism and Civial Aviation Hisila Yami said the ministry is planning a curriculum regarding tourism and the development of a separate Tourism University.

“European arrivals are declining due to the global financial crisis as they are investing in short distance tourist destinations,” she said adding that the focus of Nepal will now be on boosting regional tourism.

“The new policy will also promote rural, agro, adventure, health and educational tourism,” Yami said. The ministry is planning to include tourism industry in Special Economic Zones (SEZ).

The ministry has also worked on ways to avoid congestion. “Korean company LMW has shown interest in the construction of a second international airport and submitted a proposal that is under consideration,” she said. The government is planning to construct a second international airport in Nijgadh of Bara district.

“To provide air services to people in rural areas also, single-engine aircraft, cargo and air taxis will soon become operational and that will reduce airfare by 25 per cent in the Karnali and western regions,” said Yami. The ministery is also reviewing the Air Service Agreements (ASAs) with India and Qatar. “The ASAs with Bahrain and Sri Lanka were reviewed recently,” she said.

“To make Nepal Tourism Year 2011 a grand success, the government has formed 14 different sub-committees along with regional committees,” the minister said adding that to develop the tourism industry Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Nepal Airlines Corporation, (NAC) and Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) are jointly working on special packages. There are also some modifications in the civil aviation sector aiming at reducing air congestion. “We are planning separate parking places for helicopters and Twin Otters,” said Yami.