Nepal offers many offbeat destinations and activities for tourists of all age groups, as discussed in a destination presentation event organised by Nepal Tourism Board in Delhi
Nepal is a beautiful nation which has preserved its rich culture and heritage to date. Mount Everest, Pashupatinath Temple and Lumbini Temples being the major attractants, are visited by several tourists every year. However, Nepal is also home to many unexplored destinations and activities for tourists of all age groups.
Nepal is famous for the Mount Everest- world’s highest peak, Pashupatinath Temple- an important pilgrimage of Hindu faith; the traditional dumplings- momos and its Buddhist trail. This mountain nation, however, flanked by India on three sides, offers many offbeat destinations, activities, sports opportunities and gastronomic feasts which have not yet gathered global attention. A destination presentation organised by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in Delhi on July 9, 2019 at The Park Hotels, talked about many such touristic destinations and activities offered by Nepal for tourists of all age groups as part of its ongoing promotion to popularise Visit Nepal Year 2020.
“Nepal offers a wide array of destinations which are yet to be explored. Mustang often called the forbidden kingdom is one of them. Even our Gorilla Trails have become very famous in the past few years. On our website, one can find around a hundred such destinations,” Sitaram Dahal, the officer of branding & corporate partnership from NTB, shared with India Outbound.
“Nepal is a living cultural museum. Even after globalisation taking over the world, we have managed to maintain our ethnic culture and heritage. We have around 125 traditional languages and around 123 ethnic groups,” shares Uday Bhattarai, the manager of tourism product and resource development department. Many adventure sports and activities are also coming up in Nepal including canyoning, mountain flight, elephant polo and whitewater rafting. Bhattarai further shared, “Earlier the trekking trails used to traverse over the mid-mountains. However, we have now introduced a unique trekking trail through the Himalayas, that takes around 40 odd days to be completed.”
“I play a lot of golf and I believe, Nepal offers some excellent opportunities for golf players. Also, their cuisine is amazing. If they include golf and cuisine in their campaign, Nepal can go places,” says Sanjay Dutta, the president of SKAL Asia.
NTB shared that Nepal is over the effect of 2015 earthquake that wreaked havoc in this landlocked nation as well as the political instability that embarked the nation for many years. Several international events like Nepal Tourism International Summit, sustainability summits, Bike riding events on World heritage day are pipelined.
Nepal is also striving towards sustainable development. The number of tigers in the Bardia national park has doubled over a past few years, besides the hydroelectricity fuelling several sites in Nepal. Many national parks are also being upgraded to wildlife sanctuaries.
India – an important market for tourism
Owing to the geographical as well as cultural proximities, Nepal has always been on the list of Indian tourists. Indian tourists not requiring a visa to visit Nepal also acts as a major attractant. Last year, around 200,438 Indian tourists chose Nepal to spend their holidays. According to the Nepal Tourism Board, many foreign tourists visiting India, consider Nepal as their extended tourism destination, thereby, increasing the international tourist traffic in Nepal. Nepal aims to double the number of Indian tourists by next year and has been extensively promoting the destination in India for the same.
The community operated house stays have also risen over the past few years. One can choose amongst the hundreds of such stays available for tourists. Indian travellers, in particular, are being drawn to such stays in Nepal.
“India is a major tourist provider for us. It has always been among the top five nations from where we get our tourists. Many international tourists visiting India consider Nepal as an extended holiday destination. We are planning to double the number of tourism promotion events in India,” says Robin Regmi, the marketing officer of India and South Asia Unit, NTB.
Speaking to India Outbound the assistant general manager of Nepal Airlines, Pradeep Chauhan said, “We are connected to three India cities, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, at the moment. A total of 14 double dailies are currently operating between India and Nepal and we are going to launch a third flight very soon. We have also included A330’s now and are even planning to add new aircraft. Talking about the MICE activities, our presence in the Indian MICE sector is gradually growing. Lately, we had organised many MICE events and many more are scheduled.”