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)