Parties giving priority to tourism development in poll agenda

Kathmandu, November 13

Various political parties, including the Nepali Congress and those from the left alliance, have set tourism development as the main agenda in their election manifestos for the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections slated for November 26 and December 7.

In its joint poll manifesto, the left alliance has pledged to attract five million foreign tourists to the country annually over the next 10 years. It has also promised to set up monorail and cable car services at major tourist destinations across the country.

Likewise, the left alliance has committed to upgrade Tribhuvan International Airport in compliance with international standards and complete the construction of Nijgadh International Airport within the next five years, Bhairahawa Airport within the next two years and Pokhara International Airport within the next three years.

The left alliance has also stated that it will add aircraft to the fleet of Nepal Airlines to facilitate the movement of domestic and foreign travellers.

In a similar vein, NC in its manifesto has promised to increase the flow of tourists into the country. The party has set a target of attracting 3.2 million foreign tourists into the country every year over the next 10 years. It has also said investors will be provided financial incentives if they set up hotels and other tourism infrastructure in places where such infrastructure is poor. NC has pledged to form a legal entity named Cultural Site Infrastructure Development Authority to promote culture tourism in the country. In its manifesto, the party has expressed its vision of bringing into operation eight new cable car projects in the country within the next five years.

However, the country’s private sector is sceptical about political parties living up to their pledges.