‘Govt to attract 2 million tourists’

Pokhara, July 7

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari today said the government was working to attract more than 20 lakh tourists from India and China in 2020, which would be marked as Visit Nepal Year.

Speaking at an interaction organised by Tourism Journalist Forum, Pokhara, and Tourism Board in Pokhara today, Minister Adhikari held that more tourists from two neighbouring countries would be attracted to make the visit year a success.

“The ministry has formed an expert team to visit these countries to promote tourism programmes,” he informed. Adhikari expressed his joy over the fact that the Indian government had also taken initiation to promote tourism in Nepal. “The Indian government has put Nepal on the list of countries where its employee can visit during vacation,” he said.

Minister Adhikari said the government was working hard to improve tourism sector. He said  to attract more tourists, Nepal Airlines service should be expanded and improved. Adhikari also informed that they had made many changes at Tribhuvan International Airport within a year to improve services. “The number of tourists will undoubtedly increase after the completion of Gautam Buddha, Pokhara and Nijgadh airports,” he said. He added that poor transportation services and pollution were the major problems for tourists.

Minister Adhikari said that work to open new air routes was under way. He said Bhairahawa’s Gautam Buddha Airport would be used as an alternative to TIA. “Construction work of Gautam Buddha International Airport will be completed by 2019,” he said.

Presenting a working paper, former tourism secretary Kishwor Thapa said lack of hotels of international standard,  good transportation services and airport had hindered tourism development.