Travel leave to promote domestic tourism


The government has announced to provide travel leave for civil servants targeting to support domestic tourism in the country.

The tourism industry has been affected badly by the COVID-19 pandemic and for its recovery, the government is promoting domestic tourism.

Announcing the federal budget for next fiscal year Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada today announced that civil servants will be granted travel leave, while private sector will be encouraged to give such leave facility to their staffers to promote domestic tourism.

The government has allocated Rs 1.26 billion for tourism promotion for the next fiscal.

“Considering the impact on airlines, hotels, travel and trekking industry, restaurants and mountaineering sector of the country, a special arrangement has been made on taxes, charges and loan interests,” he said, “The budget has addressed the current situation as well as allocated budget for tourism infrastructure development.”

Based on the concept of ‘one province, one tourist destination’, the government has allocated budget for the development of tourism infrastructure in all seven provinces, Khatiwada added.

Likewise the government has also announced to build hill stations at mountainous and hilly regions of the country in collaboration with the private sector.

“Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control, new tourist services related with mountaineering, agriculture, culture, entertainment, sports and ecotourism will be introduced,” he said, adding, “A new tourist information system will be implemented to ensure security for tourists during arrival, trekking and mountaineering.”

The government has also announced that a feasibility study will be carried out to establish a tourism university.

Meanwhile, the government has allocated Rs 19.42 billion for the country’s aviation sector.

“This budget has prioritised qualitative construction of aviation infrastructure for safe, regulated and credible aviation sector,” the finance minister said, “Budget has been allocated to bring the Gautam Buddha International Airport into operation, to upgrade Tribhuvan International Airport and to complete the construction of Pokhara International Airport.”

The government has also allocated budget for the site clearance of Nijgadh International Airport.

The government has also announced that Surkhet and Bharatpur domestic airports will be upgraded to provincial airports to expand provincial air connectivity. Likewise, the government has also announced that airport construction at Chuhandada of Terhathum and Narayanpur of Dang district will be commenced in the next fiscal.

“For the development of aviation sector, new Aviation Act will be implemented and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal will be divided into separate regulatory and operational entities,” Minister Khatiwada said.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 29, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.