Visit Nepal 2020 launched with much fanfare

Kathmandu, January 1

Lighting the flame of unity, President Bidya Devi Bhandari officially launched Visit Nepal 2020 today with the slogan ‘Lifetime Experience’. Respective province chiefs also launched the campaign in all seven provinces at the same time.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, President Bhandari said the country’s economy was dependent on tourism, which had been affected by the long civil war and unstable political system.

“As we have already overcome political challenges, our major focus now is on economic prosperity. Tourism is the backbone of the country’s economic development,” she said.

Emphasising the immense tourism potential of Nepal, she said, “We can cater to all kinds of tourists as our country has been bestowed with cultural and natural diversity.”

She added that the campaign would play a significant role in conveying that Nepal had more to offer than just Sagarmatha, Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini.

She requested all Nepalis — those residing in the country and abroad — to be a part of the campaign and make it successful as Nepali culture equated ‘guest with god (Atithi Devo Bhava)’.

Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai said Nepal was a unique creation of nature and implored all visitors to come for a lifetime experience.

“Nepal is a land of cultural excellence and tourists can visit sacred religious sites and experience our diverse wildlife, flora and fauna,” he said.

Assuring that the country was moving towards the path of good governance and prosperity, the minister also claimed that the government had created a conducive environment for investment.

Stressing that tourism is the main pillar of Nepal’s economic development, he said the target of two million tourists and the campaign itself were inadequate for sustainable development of the sector. “We consider this year as the starting point and plan to follow this path and mark 2020-30 as the tourism decade.”

Tourism ministers from India, China, Myanmar and Jamaica were present during the inauguration and extended their good wishes to Nepal for the grand success of the VN2020 campaign.

The inauguration ceremony of the mega tourism campaign kicked off with chanting of mantras of seven religions — Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Kiratism, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism — practised in the country. Viber stickers of VN2020 and mascot for the campaign, Yeti, were also released during the inauguration.