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Nepal Tourism Year 2011 and Destination Chitwan

Nepal Tourism Year 2011 and Destination Chitwan

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Published by kapildeb
Nepal Tourism Year 2011 and Destination Chitwan: Some Issues
Kapil Dev Subedi
Head DOM Saptagandaki Multiple Campus Chitwan, Nepal

Introduction The government of Nepal has announced the year 2011 as Nepal tourism year and targeted to reach the number of tourists visiting Nepal to be doubled i.e. one million in the year 2011. The recent statistics of visit to Nepal shows that the numbers of tourists are not exceeding more than half million, as the number were 526,705 in 2007 and 500,277 in 2008.
Nepal Tourism Year 2011 and Destination Chitwan: Some Issues
Kapil Dev Subedi
Head DOM Saptagandaki Multiple Campus Chitwan, Nepal

Introduction The government of Nepal has announced the year 2011 as Nepal tourism year and targeted to reach the number of tourists visiting Nepal to be doubled i.e. one million in the year 2011. The recent statistics of visit to Nepal shows that the numbers of tourists are not exceeding more than half million, as the number were 526,705 in 2007 and 500,277 in 2008.

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Published by: kapildeb on May 02, 2010
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Nepal Tourism Year 2011 and Destination Chitwan: SomeIssues
Kapil Dev Subedi
Head DOMSaptagandaki Multiple CampusChitwan, Nepal
Introduction
 The government of Nepal has announced the year 2011 as Nepal tourismyear and targeted to reach the number of tourists visiting Nepal to bedoubled i.e. one million in the year 2011. The recent statistics of visit toNepal shows that the numbers of tourists are not exceeding more thanhalf million, as the number were 526,705 in 2007 and 500,277 in 2008.Despite strong potential, tourism growth declined in last decade in Nepal,significantly mainly because of conflict and insecurity. However thecurrent statistics shows that the industry has started rebounding in thecountry, but we need to investigate why this sector is under performingand how Nepal can increase market share in an increasingly competitiveworld tourism market.‘Nepal Tourism Year 2011’ is a grand fete throughout the year which is goingto celebrate in Nepal in 2011. The concept of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 wasemerged to manage and develop the tourism industry of Nepal by cashingthe expertise view, experiences and commitment of government with publicprivate venture. For that Nepal tourism board is continuing in thepromotional activity with public private venture internally and externally. Thecampaign will continue to promote Nepal in international arena through itsline agencies such as Nepalese diplomatic missions abroad, I/NGOs, airlines,and national and international media, NRN community and Nepal’s friendsand well-wishers.After well known historical revolution, Nepal is targeting to progress incountry economy within this decade. The major concern of Nepal is toimprove people living standard as soon as possible. For that Nepal can cashtourism industry to grow economy and eliminate poverty. That’s whygovernment has realized the potential of tourism industry in thedevelopment of nation. Knowing all these facts, Government has announcedNepal Tourism Year 2011. Tourism contributes to economic growth andpoverty alleviation, significantly. Nepal has a strong comparative advantagein tourism. However, the performance of the industry has remained,unsatisfactory. Measured in terms of tourist arrivals, Nepal’s share in worldtourism industry is only about 0.04%. Given the fragmentation and diversitynature of the tourism industry, the Nepalese industry has been highlyvulnerable to the actions of powerful external political and economic forcesthan any other industry making the tourism industry dependent on itscomponents. The challenge is to translate the attractiveness of Nepal as a
 
tourist destination into increased tourist arrivals and raise the satisfaction of the visitors visiting the country.
Tourism Potential and Attractions
Himalayan landscape and natural beauty highly suitable for trekking andmountaineering and important religious and cultural sites including thebirthplace of Buddha provide Nepal, natural advantages. Some of the majortourism products, which have made Nepal famous includes: The Himalayanlandscape including the highest peak Mount Everest, Natural beauty andHills and Mountains for adventure based activities like mountaineering,trekking, rafting, jungle safari, mountain flight etc.,Religious and spiritualsites like the famous Birth Place of Buddha –Lumbini and Pashupati Temple,a major Hindu shrine., and rich culture, costumes, traditions and festivalsDespite these advantages, tourism contribution to GDP is 2.3% and itaccounted for about 7% of total foreign exchange earnings in FY 2009.Nepal’s per capita tourist earnings is the lowest in South Asia .The averageincome per visitor per day was US $ 45 in FY 2007 and $ 73 in FY 2008. Thefollowing data depicts the gross foreign exchange earnings from tourismindustry.
TABLE 1: GROSS FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNINGS INCONVERTIBLE CURRENCIES, 2004-2008
Source-Foreign Exchange Management Department, Nepal Rastra Bank.
 There is an enormous opportunity to improve the tourism industry in ahigher growth path by improving infrastructures, addressing environmentaldegradation, enhancing tourism promotion and marketing and developingtourism products.However, even with Nepal’s strong natural comparative advantage intourism, creating a competitive edge is not easy because of increasingworldwide competition. Development and promotion of new products,decreasing flight times and prices and globalisation have exerted pressure to
 YearTotal Earnings%Changein US$AverageIncomeper Capita inUS$AverageIncomePer VisitorPerday in US$
US $ ('000)Rs.('000)
2004
179,94113,146,534-6.7609.845.1
2005
148,44110,600,345-17.5532.058.5
2006
162,79011,784,6449.7561.055.0
2007
230,61715,185,07141.7535.045.0
2008
351,96824,802,19552.7860.373.0
 
enhance quality and visibility of tourism products, improvement of tourismservices and marketing and infrastructure development to compete withother countries in attracting more tourists in the country. Nepal’s mainselling points according to a study are mountains (40%), beautiful nature(40%), friendly people (39%), cultural diversity (37%), and adventure tourism(2%). The most important attraction for tourist, in order of importance, accordingto survey carried out in 2001 are the following: Kathmandu, Lalitpur andBhaktapur; Pokhara; Nagarkot; Annapurna; Chitwan; Everest; Dhulikhel;Lukla; Langtang and Lumbini.
Destination Chitwan
 The conventional view of destination holds that destination is well-definedgeographical areas, such as a country, an island or a village. In simple word,a destination is defined as the focus of facilities and services designed tomeet the needs of the tourists. Looking from the competitive angle, adestination has two major components: image and experiences, constructedthrough tourism marketing and encountered in a destination. According toGilbert and Terrata the destination’s image may be based upon “ideas andimpressions that a prospective traveler holds about a destination andtherefore may influence tourist motivation as a pull factors”. The imagesheld by tourists are prime motivators to travel. Therefore, destination’simage is the most important criterion for selecting to visit. A newer,conception sees the destination “as an amalgam of individual products andexperience opportunities that combine to form a total experience of the areavisited”In this context, Chitwan has its own unique image in the world tourismmarket as a destination of nature and adventure along with exceptionalculture. Before 1950s Chitwan, then known itself as death valley, wascovered by very dense forests containing more than 1000 square miles of virgin forests, swamps and grasslands, which was inhabited by various wildanimals such as wild elephant, rhinoceros, swamp deer, water buffalo andbirds. This area was then a famous area for game hunting. Previously,Chitwan suffered from Malaria, which was eradicated in 1954. After theeradication of Malaria, the area had attracted the hilly people vigorously.People started residing in the richer and fertile duns, valleys and plains. Thenthe development process started in Chitwan from the level of people,community and government. In 1957, the Chitwan forest was declared asRhino Sanctuary and in 1962; Safari Tourism was introduced in ChitwanNational Park for the first time. Similarly, in 1973: Royal Chitwan NationalPark was established as the first national park of Nepal. All these effortsoriented Chitwan as a tourist destination of Nepal. Now Chitwan has beendeveloped itself as the third destination of Nepalese tourism due to itsunique natural beauty, exclusive biodiversity, co-existence of differinglanguages, cultures, caste and ethnicity. The two indigenous ethnic groups,

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