Nepal undoubtedly is one of the high choice destinations for tourists across the world. The tourism industry generates employment for tens of thousands of people and contributes significantly to Nepalís economy with appreciable trickle-down effect. It is beyond debate that Nepal is rich in terms of natural and cultural heritages. Nepal is the country of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world, and seven other mountains higher than 8,000 metres. It has numerous fast flowing rivers that offer unlimited adventure opportunities for the tourists. Nepal has diverse geographical terrain with altitudes ranging from 70 m to 8848 m above sea level. With the ascent of every 165 m, there is change of temperature by 1įC. So various types of climates can be experienced within a small area with a rich diversity in flora and fauna. Tourists love all of these attributes, and not to mention the friendly attitude of most Nepalese.
Despite all these strengths, all is not well with Nepalís tourism industry. It is far from developed owing to political instability, policy inconsistency and inefficient management. The government does not seem to accord tourism high priority though it holds the potential to transform the national economy. The natural and cultural heritages and tourist attractions either remain unidentified or underdeveloped. Tourism infrastructure suffers from a deficiency. The poor state of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and the primitive condition of air links and transport into and across the country are a case in point. The Nepal Tourism Board, the authority responsible for tourism development in the country, has failed to play an effective role, thanks to politicisation. The board has been left leaderless for the past several months. Tourism service providers suffer from a rent seeking attitude, consequently the quality of service is far from satisfactory, let alone competitive.
What then is the way out of this hotchpotch? Much can be achieved if all the stakeholders work in unison. The government must adopt policies that result in the preservation, development and promotion of tourism. It is the responsibility of the government to identify the sites that hold good tourism potential and encourage and involve the private sector in their development. The government should also adopt a policy towards the diversification of tourism products and services. Tourism entrepreneurs must understand that the industry cannot thrive in the absence of a proactive private sector. They must realise that it is the service they offer that makes all the difference. The government and the private sector should join hands to sensitise the people about the importance of this smokeless industry. One key step towards bringing robust growth in the countryís tourism is to purchase some aircraft for the NAC. The government can work closely with the private sector so that the purchase is free from controversy and proves fruitful for the tourism sector.