Dhaka, January 30
Bangladeshi citizens were found to be eager to visit Nepal due to its historical, cultural and religious importance.
The birth place of Lord Buddha and the highest peak of the world, Mt Everest, among other heritages lure the Bangladeshi citizens as they do tourists from across the world.
A Bangladeshi who has visited Nepal once wants to visit again.
Youth leader Bipyadipya Basu, who visited Nepal five times, wants to revisit Nepal. He said he was willing to visit Pokhara as he had visited the capital Kathmandu and eastern city of Biratnagar during his past visits.
He said a 35-member team is visiting Nepal next month for the Nepal-Bangladesh Youth Conference.
President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Mohammad Abdul Hamid recently visited Nepal as part of his fourday official goodwill visit.
At the invitation of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid paid a visit to Nepal from November 12 to 15. He visited Pokhara and the historical, archaeological and cultural sites of Kathmandu Valley. The visit enhanced bilateral ties between the two countries.
With the beginning of New Year 2020, Nepal has launched Visit Nepal Year 2020 mega campaign to attract more tourists to Nepal. Nepal is expecting to bring two million visitors in the visit year, and for this purpose, Bangladesh might be appropriate as it has 170 million population.
A Rajshahi University graduate Lima Shirina Akter is willing to visit Nepal. The Bangladeshis like cultural diversity and natural beauty for which Nepal is famous.
Saima Komor Gunjon of Rajshahi city of Bangladesh said, “Nepalese are helpful and friendly. Nepal’s nature is very beautiful. So it attracts me.”
Students, entrepreneurs, journalists and politicians, as well as others found in Dhaka and Green City Rajshahi, shared their eagerness to visit Nepal.
A journalist Ziaul Gani Salim is preparing to visit Nepal in a group next month. Salim said that he wants to visit Nepal as the country of Mt Everest, is very beautiful.
He said that Nepal is a good neighbouring country of Bangladesh and has cordial relations. The border of Bangladesh is only 27 kilometres from the eastern border of Nepal. “There are many alternatives in Nepal for visit. Natural beauty with mountain, hilly and Tarai areas are very attractive. One can enjoy adventurous activities also, added Salim.
Visits by Bangladeshis are minimal even with a population of 170 million One can visit Nepal in two days travelling by bus from Dhaka and only a few hours by air. There are 91 per cent Muslims in Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh, their behaviour and food and geography of Bangladesh are almost similar to Nepal’s.
Although the geographical area of Bangladesh and Nepal is almost equal, Bangladesh has around 170 million population. But the number of Bangladeshis visiting Nepal is very less.
According to the Department of Immigration, 25,849 Bangladeshi had visited Nepal in 2019 while the number was 25,330 in 2018.
A total of 2,129 Bangladeshi nationals have visited Nepal in 28 days of the first month of 2020.
Nepali Ambassador to Bangladesh, Banshidhar Mishra, said that activities are under way to make 100,000 Bangladeshi nationals visit Nepal after the government set a target of bringing in 72,000 tourists for Visit Nepal 2020.
A serious question has been raised why the number of Bangladeshi nationals visiting Nepal is very less even though they wish to.
Lack of appropriate publicity and physical infrastructure has been considered the main challenges.
A version of this article appears in print on January 31, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.