Laxmi Capital News
FinMin stresses domestic tourism to boost country's economy

Minister for Finance Yuba Raj Khatiwadahas said that expansion of internal tourism should be the priority if we wantto achieve prosperity through tourism.

Speaking at a post-budget pressconference organized in Kathmandu on Wednesday, Minister Khatiwada said thatthe government will give equal priority to promotion of internal andinternational tourism. 

To promote internal tourism andencourage Nepalis to visit internal destinations first, the government hasannounced a campaign named ‘Pahile Desh ani Bidesh’. 

Responding to a query on achieving thetourist footfall targets, Khatiwada said that concrete programs have been putin place to boost foreign tourist numbers. “But we should focus on domestictourism as well,” he said, adding: “Expansion of domestic tourism cancontribute to economic prosperity.” 

He also claimed that the budget forFiscal Year 2018/19 has allocated sufficient budget for the promotion andexpansion of domestic tourism. 

Further, the government has brought apolicy to send government officials on leave travel inside the country in orderto promote domestic tourism.

“Our major bottleneck was infrastructurewhich we are developing gradually,” he said, adding: “Gautam BuddhaInternational Airport (GIBA) in Bhairahawa will come into operation by the nextyear and Pokhara International Airport will be ready to start operation withinthree years.”

He also said that the government hasallocated sufficient funds to these projects so that they are completed ontime.

Khatiwada also added that the governmentwas holding needful discussions to implement the Second International Airport(SIA) project in Nijgadh of Bara under Public-Private Partnership (PPP)model. 

“Airport is one of the majorinfrastructures needed for tourism. To achieve our goal of welcoming twomillion tourists by 2020, we need to upgrade capacity of our regional andinternational airports,” Khatiwada said in the press meet. 

Timely completion of under-constructionairports, and upgrading of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and otherregional airports as well as commencing construction of new airport willcertainly help to increase tourist arrivals, he added.

The government has set target ofreceiving two million foreign tourists by 2020. To achieve the target, thegovernment has announced ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ campaign. 

“The government has set a goal ofwelcoming two million tourists by 2020 and five million tourists by 2028,”he said. “The target is gettable.”

Source: MyRepublica, 31st May 2018

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