Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Rabindra Adhikari stated that being the national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) plays a great role in promoting Tourism year with encouraging tourists from two neighboring countries (India and China) speaking at an interaction program organized by Tourism Journalist Forum, Pokhara and Tourism Board in Pokhara yesterday.
Minister Adhikari has directed NAC to expand and improve the air service as the government is currently working on attracting more than 2million tourists in the year 2020, which would be marked as Visit Nepal Year.
According to the source, Ministry has formed an expert team to visit these countries to promote tourism programs. Indian government had also started supporting to promote tourism in Nepal. Minister Adhikari said that Indian government listed Nepal as countries where its employee can visit during vacation.
He also informed that the government has advanced many enhancement projects at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to be completed within a year in order to deliver sound services to the Tourists.
Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA), Pokhara Regional International Airport, Nijgadh International Airport which is under construction would be use as an alternative airport to TIA. After the completion of these airports, the number of tourists will definitely boost up.
In 2013, Nepal welcomed 180,974 tourists from India which was the highest ever arrivals. Buddha Air is operating two flights weekly (Monday and Friday) from two flights weekly (Monday and Friday) and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has approved the flight schedule of Nepalgunj-Delhi route for Buddha Air to be implemented from January 1, 2019. Currently, more than a dozen daily flights are in operation between Kathmandu and different cities in India.
The government has planned to bring 2 million tourists every year by fiscal year 2077-78 by investing in tourism infrastructures like the airports which will eventually increase income of the country by 4% from tourism sector. Finance minister presented the intermediate expenditure structure in the parliament which has mentioned increase in investment in air infrastructure to increase number of tourist arrival annually.
Government has also planned to bring the non-operational airports into full service. In fiscal year 2077-78, Nepal is celebrating ‘Tourism Year-2020’ with aim of bringing 2 million tourists providing 14 days average length of stay spending 66 dollars per tourist that will contribute to 1.6 million Nepali which will help to increase Gross national income by 4 % from tourism sector.