The following story is published in partnership with Nepal Guide Treks and Expedition.
The Visit Nepal 2020 edition of the Nepalese Tourism Year has been declared after the successive tourism years: Visit Nepal Year 1998 and Nepal Tourism Year 2011.
The Visit Nepal Campaign 2020 has been designed to welcome two million foreign tourists within the year.
The movement also targets better economic growth and making Nepal known as a beautiful and safe country to travel.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation had announced this campaign in 2015 to be held in the year 2018, but later it was postponed until 2020 because of delayed construction of infrastructure and renovation of the heritage sites.
Visit Nepal Campaigns have been organized frequently to help promote Nepal globally and attract more tourists.
It is a matter of pride that Nepal is fifth among the top ten countries to visit in the world and the number one valued destination on the planet.
It is a mystical nation with an incredible blend of geography, culture, people, and more.
The devastating earthquake of 2015 reduced the inflow of the tourists by nearly half in comparison to the previous year.
Therefore, this campaign is a must to boost the slumping tourism industry and give a golden message to the world, “Nepal is Safe.”
There are multiple reasons to visit Nepal. Nepal boasts pristine natural beauty, a sky-high mountain range, endless culture and traditions to explore, and villages across the country.
Trekking, climbing, rafting, paragliding, mountain biking, touring, and bird watching can amuse anyone.
Here, I am highlighting the major attractions of Visit Nepal 2020.
Activity Highlights for Visit Nepal 2020 Campaign
Trekking and Mountain Climbing
Nepal is a mountainous country. It is also the home of eight out of the fourteen 8,000-meter tall mountains in the world.
It has introduced 35 safe hiking routes. Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Ghorepani Poonhill Trek are all time famous trekking destinations.
Visit Nepal Year 2020 also tends to promote lesser known hiking trails too.
The Nepal Government is also shining a light on the Manaslu Circuit Trek, Ganesh Himal Trek, and Langtang Gosaikunda Trek to make these destinations a dream destination for the future.
Mountaineering is an adventure you can enjoy in Nepal. There are over 1,300 peaks above 6,000m, and 238 of them are already opened for climbing.
After the first successful climb of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary, Nepal has become home to mountaineers.
Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Api, Saipal, Ama Dablam, Mera Peak are some of the major peaks.
High pass trekking is also possible if you are not sure about undertaking a bigger mountain expedition.
National Heritage Sites Enlisted in UNESCO
Nepal is a culturally diverse country. It is rich in culture and traditions.
Every society has its distinct art, religion, and customs. You can find such harmony nowhere in the world. Unity in diversity is well maintained.
The brilliant medieval art and architecture in our heritage sites showcase the culture and our civilizations.
Nepal boasts ten national heritages being enlisted in the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO.
Sagarmatha National Park and Chitwan National Park are the natural heritages and rest of others are the cultural heritage.
Kathmandu Valley: the city of temples, alone offers seven cultural heritages named as:
- Swyambhunath Stupa
- Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Patan Durbar Square
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square
- Changunarayan Temple
Lumbini: the birthplace of Lord Buddha is also a featured destination of this tourism year.
Our heritages are the peerless landmarks of the entire universe.
Nepal’s unique geography, with its remarkable changes in elevation and associated variety of eco-climatic conditions, has given rise to unique, rich biodiversity.
Nepal is an attraction for many travelers, thanks to its wide range of plants and animals.
A total of 118 ecosystems have been identified in Nepal. It’s a golden platform for researchers and wildlife explorers to study about them.
Eight hundred twenty-five species of birds, 284 species of flowering plants, 160 animal species, and 14 species of Herpetofauna are reportedly endemic to Nepal.
Besides that, 1,624 species of medicinal and aromatic herbs grow in Nepal.
Moreover, Nepal also preserves several endangered species such as the Bengal Tiger, one Horned Rhinoceros, Bengal Fox, Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Musk Deer Blue Sheep, etc.
In spite of being a small country, Nepal has a wide variety of landscapes.
The huge mountains of the north, the lush valleys, and hills of the middle and vast plains in the south have made this country too diverse.
This country has been gifted by Mother Nature. We can experience almost all types of climates though it lies in a sub-tropical climate region.
Beautiful valleys, river basins, natural fountains and hot springs, gorges, lakes, glaciers, pasture lands, and natural parks have enriched this country.
We have many natural superlatives such as the tallest mountain, the highest lake, the deepest gorge, the highest national park, etc.
Highest Altitude Lakes
Nepal is also the home of some of the most amazing and picturesque lakes in the world. Most of them are the glacial-fed high altitude lakes.
These lakes are worth visiting places in your Nepal Trip. Gokyo Lake, Tilicho Lake, Phoksundo, Gosaikunda, Rara, Paanch Pokhari, Tsho Rolpa, Phewa, Begnas, and Rupa lakes are all mesmerizing.
Historical and Cultural Sites
Nepal is a small yet warm-hearted country. It has a glorious history.
The exclusive art and architecture of our country, temples, monasteries, stupas, palaces, forts are just exotic.
Not only Kathmandu, but all parts of Nepal also have their own distinct featured historical and religious landmarks.
Muktinath, Lo-manthang, Swargadwari, Tilaurakot, Sinja Valley, Tansen, Resunga, Panauti, Gorkha Durbar, Manakamana, Janaki Temple, Rani Mahal, Seven Storey Palace, Halesi Temple, Pathivara, Baraha Kshetra are some of the representative ones.
The Land of Rivers
Nepal is the second most prosperous country in the world in water resources.
Most of the rivers originate from the Himalayas. Nepal has over 6,000 rivers and rivulets.
Koshi, Gandaki, and Karnali are the major river systems in Nepal. We have so many water-related activities such as rafting, kayaking, and canoeing.
If you want to challenge yourself with water adventure, you shouldn’t miss visiting Nepal in 2020.
Visit Nepal Year 2020: Preparations and Strategies
The Nepal government has been planning a wide range of tourism promotion and related developmental activities across the country and beyond.
The government of Nepal has decided to promote 100 new tourism destinations within the year 2019, with at least ten new destinations in each province.
For better connectivity and accessibility, the government has initiated the development of new airports across the country, with at least one major airport in each province.
The government has identified 21 national pride projects on a priority basis.
Eight new international chain hotels are expected to be launched in 2019 for enhancing accommodation in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, and other urban areas that includes Hilton, Marriot, and A-loft.
Tourism Publicity programs based on Neighbours First Strategy have been planned across the neighboring countries.
The Tourism Board Nepal has created more than 25 special tourism packages for tourists on the lines of Visit Nepal 2020 Campaign.
There are also six special activities on offer, including mountain flights, jungle safaris, river rafting, and bungy jumping, etc. as part of tourism promotion.
The Nepali Expedition Team climbed Argentina's Mt. Aconcagua (6,962m) to promote the Visit Nepal 2020 Campaign globally.
And the Nepal Tourism Board organized special roadshows in the UK in January 2019.
See also: Rafting Nepal's Kali Gandaki River
What to Expect in Visit Nepal 2020?
Rebirth of Medieval Landmarks
Nepal experienced terrible devastation in the year 2015. A massive earthquake hit Kathmandu and surrounding districts and swept away much of the incredible, centuries’ old national heritages.
In the absence of these landmarks, the industry witnessed low tourism. The reconstruction of those heritage sites has been very slow.
But taking Visit Nepal Year 2020 into consideration, they are being restored more rapidly now. You will be able to see them restored to their old form next year.
Learning the lessons from the previous tourism years, Nepal has been focusing on the construction of roads in the rural areas and expansion of roads in the cities.
The construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa is in its final stage.
Similarly, upgrading of Tribhuvan International Airport has been already completed.
And Pokhara Regional International Airport is under construction.
The broad reach of the internet and flourishing hotels throughout the country will make your Nepal visit a different one this time.
Exciting New Destinations
In spite of having an overwhelming number of destinations and activities, the Tourism Board has been working day and night to explore new destinations and activities.
Kathmandu, Pokhara, Everest Base Camp, and Annapurna Base Camp are some of the most visited destinations.
The Khaptad and Dolpo regions have yet to be discovered. Exclusive packages featuring these destinations will be available.
The government has introduced 100 new destinations over the country for sustainable tourism development highlighting tourism in 2020.
Customized and Tailored Packages
With the beginning of the tourism year, hundreds of travel agencies will try to attract you with exclusive packages to the new destinations. This will be economical for you as well.
Is Nepal Safe?
The aftermath of the devastating earthquake of 2015 is almost over. However, many tourists still fear and feel unsafe traveling to Nepal.
The earthquake damaged the old and weak buildings made of clay.
Twelve districts of central Nepal (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Dolakha, etc.) were affected by the seismic events.
In addition to this, there was minor destruction in most of the affected districts. At the same time, other regions are intact and untouched.
Nevertheless, the impact of this calamity over the Nepalese Tourism industry is not over. This decline in visits has been significant.
However, the year 2017 showed positive symptoms with a remarkable flow of international tourists into Nepal.
To mitigate the fall in the tourism sector and to rise from the ashes following the devastating incident and to remove the fear from the eyes of the travelers, the Nepal Government has come up with Visit Nepal Year 2020.
Moreover, this campaign tends to give the message to the world that Nepal is a safe place to travel.
For the same, the tourism board has already checked all the trekking trails/ hiking routes and reported that there are 35 safe hiking routes.
Apart from that, the national parks are also cleared, and the damaged heritages and landmarks are being repaired at a rapid pace.
The buildings and temples over affected districts are examined thoroughly and approved by the engineer.
At present, there is nothing to worry about in Nepal. The armed insurgency of Maoist has been over almost a decade ago.
People are well educated about tourism and its importance. The hospitality industry has flourished quite considerably in comparison to the past few years.
The telecommunication and transportation facilities extend to every nook and corner.
People are friendly and hospitable. You don’t have to worry about cross-cultural understandings.
In sum, you can confidently choose Nepal for your upcoming vacation.
This story is published in partnership with Nepal Guide Treks and Expedition.