With the much-awaited Visit Nepal Year 2020 approaching, preparations for the impending national tourism campaign seem to have been going on in full swing. The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), VNY 2020 Secretariat and the private sector have intensified their efforts to highlight Nepal as a preferred tourist destination in different international tourist source markets. Their concerted efforts are expected to be instrumental in making the year-round tourism event a success. The VNY 2020 has been pre-launched in different parts of the world. The government aims to give a boost to the country's tourism industry by welcoming two million international tourists by 2020. Being one of the important sectors contributing to the national economy, the tourism industry is a national priority industry. As a multidimensional sector, tourism plays a vital role in bringing about socio-economic transformation in the country. Its contribution in making foreign currencies and creating employment opportunities has remained very significant. It is the tourism sector that also supports various other auxiliary industries like handicraft, poultry farming, horticulture and livestock farming.
It is worth mentioning that Nepal is going to have an opportunity to utilise the platform of British Parliament for the publicity of the upcoming national tourism campaign. Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai is scheduled to unveil the VNY 2020 from the British House of Lords (Upper House) on November 7. As per the VNY 2020 Secretariat, a special Nepal promotion event is going to be organised at the British Parliament on the occasion of the annual World Travel Market (WTM) 2019. Through such a rare event, Nepal will be in the spotlight not only in the United Kingdom (UK) but also in other parts of the world. British nationals contributing to the development and promotion of Nepal's tourism will be honoured with The Himalayan Travel Award-2019. This is sure to help inspire them to contribute more for Nepal's tourism promotion. It is needless to say that the UK is one of the major tourist generating nations for Nepal. More than 63,000 British travellers visited the country last year.
There is no doubt that the effort geared towards promoting the VNY 2020 has helped enhance Nepal destination image worldwide. Nepal, as a tourist destination, offers a wide range of attractions from the unparalleled natural beauty to cultural diversity and social harmony. The country is famous for trekking, mountaineering, wildlife safari, rafting and cultural tours. Despite such strengths, the country still has a long way to go when it comes to building up the much-needed infrastructures like roads and airports. Since we have to compete with many other destinations at the regional as well as global levels, we must make extra efforts to create more tourism-friendly environment within the country in order to welcome more tourists. For this, there should be timely reforms in tourism-related policies. Besides refurbishing roads to major tourist destinations and spots, the authorities concerned must pay due attention towards refurbishing all the heritage sites and other tourist areas. They must initiate a campaign for keeping such places neat and clean.