Not sure if one should rejoice on the announcement of Nepal Tourism Board’s plan to pull in 1million foreign visitors to Nepal or despair in the thought that a country with such a massive potential has to employ all its effort and designate a particular year to achieve such a number.

For a country like Nepal, 1 million tourists visiting the country each year should be a regular affair. Over 20% of the world’s population of 6.7 billion people with per capita income of $6500 lives to our north and have a deep cultural, social and political relation to this land. Chinese travelers are surpassing other nationals as top visitors in number of popular destinations like France, Japan, Switzerland and many other countries that have benefited a great deal.  Over half a million Chinese visited France last year and contributed over 160 million Euros in the process to the French economy. In the case of Japan, it is expected that over 1.2 million Chinese will have visited the country and the year’s end, placing them on the top of the list of visitors.

What about the Indians? They are going through economic prosperity, too.  As per the statistics, Indians too are traveling abroad in an increasing number. And although Indians constitute the biggest number of travelers to Nepal overall, the actual number leaves much to be desired for.

Nepal should be able to attract 1 million visitors each year from China and India alone. These two countries have the largest middle class population in the world, and they are experiencing increase in their spending power with each successive year. And since Nepal is comparatively inexpensive place for travel and, given the geography, it is ideally “positioned” to be the favorite destination for that humongous populace.

Something needs to be done.

Hmmm- Food for thought?


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