The first phase of the Visit Nepal Year 2020 tourism campaign declared by the government has been launched from the Komagane Park on the bank of the Phewa lake in Pokhara.
Gandaki Province Chief Minister, Prithvi Subba Gurung, launched the programme on Saturday evening.
Addressing the programme, Chief Minister Gurung underscored the need of building the physical infrastructures for promoting tourism. He said all the three levels of governments – local, state and federal – should work for making the Visit Nepal Year 2020 successful.
Tourism should be linked with production, he said, adding that the Gandaki State has declared Year 2019 as the Internal Tourist Visit Year and the Year 2020 as the ‘Year for Visit by Tourists from Neighbouring Countries’, to support the Visit Nepal Year 2020.
It is said that 40 per cent of total tourists visiting the country visit Pokhara. Gandaki State government minister for industry, tourism, forests and environment, Bikas Lamsal said that the state government has recommended to the federal government to declare Pokhara as the ‘Tourism Capital of Nepal’.
He said the state government has focused on the development of 110 new tourism destinations in the Gandaki State and it was facilitating the promotion of 300 home stay services to promote rural tourism. Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mohan Krishna Sapkota on the occasion said that the Gautam Buddha International Airport would be brought into operation by June 15 this year, that construction of the Pokhara International Airport would be completed ahead of the deadline and that works on building the Nijgadh Airprt were in progress.
He added that the goal of the Visit Nepal Year 2020 is to welcome two million tourists in the country in 2020 and through this to create one million jobs thereby contributing to boosting the national economy. President of the international relations committee of the federal parliament Pabitra Niraula Kharel, coordinator of the Visit Nepal Year 2020 Suraj Baidya, member of Nepal Tourism Board, Biplav Poudel, tourism entrepreneur Yogendra Shakya, Federation of Nepali Journalist (FNJ) Kaski chapter president Deependra Shrestha, among other speakers stressed on coordinated and concerted efforts from all sectors for making the VNY 2020 a grand success.