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Why trekking should be focused while traveling Nepal

  • 19-Apr-2016
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Have you heard of the recently announced campaign of ‘Ghumfir Barsa’ or Travel Year for the year in the Nepalese calendar? Yes, you heard it right! In a bid to rescue the tourism industry the government has this time focused on domestic tourists. Some incentives are announced especially for the Civil servants that compel them to have at least a week’s ‘vacation’ in any of the tourist destinations in Nepal. However, Nepal, treks, and tours don’t seem to be the priority of the government.

Why should trekking be one of the focus areas in this Travel Year?

Domestic travel spending is expected to grow to Rs. 83.8 billion in 2015. The fund set aside by the government for National Reconstruction Authority in the previous budget was Rs. 74 billion. Considering the rising popularity of trekking among the youths and middle-class families trekking should also be the focus of the government as some of the expenditure gets diverted to the rural sector. The reasons for the focus of the government towards trekking may be explained in the following paragraphs.

1. Trekking is done in the rural and remote areas in Nepal, the areas worst hit by the devastating earthquake. Areas such as Langtang were among the worst hit. The tracks in Everest and Annapurna region were also affected by the calamity. Diverting the flow of domestic travelers in trekking helps in uplifting the rural economy.

2. Trekking can also be combined with volunteering activities in the areas worst hit by the earthquake. We are already close to the anniversary of the calamity and the reconstruction activity is going at a slower pace. Such volunteering packages combined with the trekking activity may boost the rebuilding activity to some extent.

3. Encouraging domestic visitors for trekking also sends a positive message to the international community about the safety of Nepal and readiness to welcome them. Moreover, the government plans to run another campaign of International Tourism Year for the year 2021/22. The success of this campaign shall be a boost to the upcoming campaign with higher significance.

4. Trekking, as a focus of this campaign, shall also help execute the concept of Responsible Tourism as well as sustainable tourism. The sightseeing has limited appeal while the trekking sector has been discovering newer trails and thereby adding variety to the packages being offered. This campaign should capitalize on this potential of the trekking sector.
The announcement of another campaign from the government is a welcoming move. In a gloomy environment marred by earthquakes and an economic blockade by neighboring India, this campaign is vital. However, the government focusing on trekking adds beauty to the much-needed effort on the part of the government. With the joint effort of the public and private sector, serious execution by the concerned authorities and enthusiasm from the other stakeholders shall definitely make this campaign a huge success. The only factor to be considered is the impact of this campaign on the sustainability and growth of the tourism sector, which can be enhanced by the promotion of trekking in this campaign.

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