Importance of Tourism in Nepal isn’t just limited to the tourist coming in. I am an avid traveler myself. And I post some snapshots from my travel on my Instagram account. A few weeks ago, one of my Instagram followers didn’t even know about Gosainkunda, one of the famous and holiest lakes in Nepal. This particular incident got me thinking about the ignorance of famous getaway destinations in Nepal among the young generation.
While government and Tourism Board are busy draftings plans to attract foreign tourists in Nepal, it is important that most of the Nepali should share the same zeal. Why should we? I can understand it to be a common question? Well, read the following paragraphs and you’ll agree with me.
Nepal is no longer just an agricultural country. Our economy is sustained by foreign employment and tourism alongside agriculture. Since a decade, as Nepal bade goodbye to long and tragic civil war, the tourism industry has started to come out from the long hibernation. Nepal celebrated visit Nepal year 2010 in order to inform the world “it is okay to visit Nepal now”.
In addition to that various national campaign has been launched to boost internal tourism in the country. As a major campaign, Nepal government has planned “Visit Nepal 2020” with an aim to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists, the importance of tourism in Nepal is growing.
Here are some of the major importance of tourism in Nepal:
1. A significant source of income:
International tourism is a significant source of income to sustain the failing economy of Nepal. In 2016 alone, tourism sector pumped Rs 177 billion to nations economy. According to the same report, Nepal is ranked 37th country to where tourism directly contributes to GDP among 185 countries involved. In 2017, the tourism sector contributed 8% of Nepal’s GDP i.e. 220 billion Nepalis currency. This figure is likely to go up to 8.25% by 2028. These official figures show that Tourism is a major pillar to sustain Nepal’s current economic condition.
2. Employment Opportunities:
According to 2108 report of world travel and tourism council, Travel & Tourism generated 497,500 jobs directly in 2017 (3.2% of total employment) in Nepal. This figure is projected to rise to 3.9% by 2018 and by 2028, there’ll be an increment of 2.11% in the existing figure. These statistics show the promising future in the field of Tourism in Nepal and its likely impact on the nation’s economy.
3. Upliftment of living standard:
In 2017 alone, internal tourism consumption was Rs.168.7 billion according to the report of the World Travel and Tourism Council. This consumption includes the food and lodging during treks, porter costs and so forth. Famous for its adventurous tourism, the expenses in local places is likely to boost up their living standard too. Furthermore, as an integral part of a rural tourism, “homestay” has helped the locals to earn the extra cash while promoting the local tourism.
4. The increment in local trade:
Shopping in Nepal is one of the major dreams of any foreigner. The street of Thamel during the months of October to March is filled by tourists from all over the world. They have seen busy shopping either some antique handicrafts or a pashmina shawl or a singing bowl. Anything they purchase indirectly aids in the local trade.
5. Publicity of hidden treasures:
Everyone is well aware of Pokhara and its beauty. Same can be said in the case of ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) or Everest base camp (EBC). But there are many other heavenly places in Nepal such as unexplored trek route, new river for rafting, a new place for paragliding and so forth. These hidden treasures can be exposed to the world only through the publicity which is best done by Tourism. Once known as a Hermit nation, Nepal was not open for anyone. Today, millions of tourists enjoy the beautiful landscapes, birds, and animals. So, only the tourism industry can unlock the hidden potentials.
6. Preservation of Cultural heritages:
When the earthquake of 2015 demolished most of the cultural heritage of Kathmandu, international communities stood up to lend their hands in the reconstruction of that iconic heritage. One of the main reasons for that is to preserve the cultural site for observation by the future generation. This shows that tourism helps in the preservation of old and culturally significant part of our history.
7. Strengthening relations between citizens:
Religious tourism in Nepal has helped to preserve the century-long strong relation between the people of two different countries. For instance, the common faith of Hinduism has helped to increase the friendship between citizens of Nepal and India. In addition, being a Buddhist nation, the participation of different nations to establish shrines in Lumbini shows that religious tourism help to create a harmony between the citizens.
As a land of the birthplace of Buddha and Majestic Mt. Everest, Nepal has a lot to offer to the tourists while tourists in return provide immense help to support Nepal in any way possible.