Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), in association with the travel trade associations, has unveiled a new range of all-inclusive holiday packages targeting domestic tourists as part of “Ghumphir Barsha 2073” (Travel Year 2073) announced last April.
The packages include four pilgrimage destinations (Haleshi Mahdev Darsan, Jankapur Dham, Devi Pathibhara Darshan and Lumbini-Sworgadwari-Pyuthan), two trekking and holiday destinations (Khaptad and Rara) and a wildlife and hill destination (Koshi Tappu-Dharan-Dhankuta-Hile). The packages range from three to nine nights and will last until mid-April.
“The objective of the scheme is to promote domestic tourism. Travel culture has gripped a large number of Nepalis, particularly the youths,” said NTB CEO Deepak Raj Joshi.
“Youth travel is a growing segment of the global travel industry and Nepal is no exception. In fact, the growing interest in travelling will help diversify Nepal’s tourism and boost investment,” said Joshi. Annapurna Circuit has also witnessed large number of domestic tourists this year.
According to the police office in Mustang, around 1,800 Nepali trekkers have been arriving daily since the start of the Dashain festival. Jomsom and Muktinath trekking trails are part of the Annapurna Circuit. The number of sightseers travelling from Beni to Jomsom by motorcycles has also risen sharply after the construction of the road.
Rara Lake, the country’s biggest and deepest freshwater lake in Mugu, has also been attracting domestic visitors for the past few years. Until a few years ago, Rara used to receive only a few visitors, but it has been gradually gaining popularity among Nepalis lately. “As Rara has access to road now, it is on the bucket list of many domestic travellers now. This Dashain, the lake received more than 300 visitors per day.”
Domestic tourism has become a major source of income in many remote places in the country. “The major advantage of domestic travel is it encourages locals to make investment in infrastructure once they start to get money from visitors,” said Joshi. “It will diversify destinations and also start attracting foreigners.” According to a report titled “Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2016” published by the World Travel
and Tourism Council, total contribution of travel and tourism to Nepal’s gross domestic product (GDP) was Rs173.7 billion (8.1 percent of GDP) in 2015.
Domestic travel spending accounted for 57.5 percent of the direct travel and tourism GDP in 2015 compared to 42.5 percent for foreign visitor spending, or international tourism receipts.
4 days (Rs38,000 to Rs40,000)
By Jeep and Bus
8 days (Rs28,000 to Rs30,000)
9 days (Group size 12 pax)
Rs25,000 by land
Extra Rs20,000 air fare
LUMBINI TO SWORGADWARI TOUR
6 days (Rs10,500)
7 days (Rs13,500)
Group size 25 pax
Haleshi Mahdev Darsan Tour
Biratnagar-Koshi Tappu-Dharan-Dhankuta- Hile
Devi Pathibhara Darshan