Yogendra Shakya is not a new name in the Tourism Sector. Having spent his entire career in tourism business as an hotelier, Shakya knows the ins and outs of tourism in Nepal. Pioneer entrepreneur of tourism and former president of Hotel Association Nepal, Shakya is now coordinator of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 targeting to bring a million tourists in Nepal.
Nepal possesses eight out of the ten highest mountains of the world, making Nepal a hot spot for mountaineers, rock climbers and people seeking adventure. The Hindu and the Buddhist heritage, its calm and serene landscape and the cold weather are also strong attractions.
For almost a decade, the contributing factor to the decline in Nepal's tourism had been a civil war between Maoist rebels and the Nepalese government. While the war has ended, continued fighting between political forces occasionally prevents international travel into Nepal. Tourism is said to be the largest industry in Nepal, and of course the largest source of foreign exchange. The Government of Nepal declared 2011 to be the "Nepal Tourism Year" with a hope to attract one million tourists to the country during the year. The tourism industry in Nepal is seen as a way to alleviate poverty and achieve greater social equity in the country.
"There was a 20% increase in the number of tourists the past year but the past five months has seen an increase in tourists by 24%. If we (Program Implementation Committee) would have done as per our plans, I am sure we would have got a lot better response. Hence we will not end at one million tourists this year," Yogendra Shakya, the National Coordinator for the Nepal Tourism Year, said. The 58-year old is also the president of GAA (Godavari Alumni Association). Like any other Xaverian he is proud to be a part of St. Xavier’s and respects all that he has learned from his Alma Mater.