Although several countries in the world have seen declining number of visiting tourists, Nepal’s tourism growth remained at double digits in the last nine months. Despite political uncertainty, the quest of tourists to visit Nepal and trek in the Himalayas is there forever.
Visit Nepal Year 2011 is approaching with an ambitious objective to bring in a million tourists but not all political parties are helping the national campaign. As UCPN-Maoist party came up with the agenda of struggle, tourism entrepreneurs are worried if the party will fail to abide by the general understanding that there will be no general strike in the year.
UCPN-Maoist called five days of general strike in May last year, completely devastating Nepal’s growing market in the world. One cannot rule out such possibility in the future.
“We are worried about the future program,” said a tourism entrepreneur. “Tourism is a very vulnerable industry and it will suffer in the case of any political incident and uncertainty,” said Prasiddha Bahadur Pandey, President of Hotel Association Nepal. “As political parties have already committed their support, I don’t think they will take any action against their commitment.”
Despite difficulties in getting to Nepal due to low number of air tickets, the tourist arrival is increasing. Had Nepal got its own aircraft, the number would have been much higher,” said another tourism entrepreneur. “We don’t understand when someone tries to buy plane for Nepal Airlines, CIAA and PAC of Legislature Parliament run behind it.”
Along with peace, Nepal needs to have its own aircraft to make the Visit Nepal Air 2011 a grand success. In the context of Maoist threat for political disruption and CIAA and PAC’s pulling down the proposal to buy new aircraft, the year ahead is very difficult.