KATHMANDU : Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has urged Chinese tourists to visit Nepal saying that many tourism destinations are still intact and only few places are affected.
Nepal’s plead to the northern neighbors has come at a time when country’s tourism is gradually recovering after the devastating earthquake which inflicted loss of around Rs 81.24 billion on tourism sector.
China is the second largest tourism market for Nepal after India.
At a meeting with Chinese tours operators in Kathmandu on Friday, NTB urged the Chinese travel and tours operators to disseminate the message that Nepal is safe to visit. Officials of NTB also requested them to send Chinese visitors to Nepal.
A nine-member delegation of Chinese tour operators are in Nepal to assess the situation of Nepal after the earthquake. After visiting Chitwan and Pokhara, Chinese tour operators said they found Nepal safe to visit. “We had the impression that Kathmandu and other places were totally devastated. But we are surprised to find most of the places perfectly fine and houses in good shape,” Linli Ru, a Chinese tour operator, said.
The tour operator said one of the main reasons for Chinese tourists not coming to Nepal is fear of the earthquake. “We have come to Nepal and visited many places. We will now disseminate the message that Nepal is safe and encourage our clients to visit Nepal,” said Ru.
Ramesh Kumar Adhikari, administrative chief of NTB, asked the Chinese tour operators to share their experience about Nepal and tell them that Nepal is safe. “As we are ready to welcome tourists, I request tour operators from around the world to send tourists to Nepal. This will support Nepal in rebuilding,” he added. “Almost 90 percent of our hotels are safe and there is no problem with transportation and communication. You can send tourists to Nepal without worrying about anything.”
Ru hoped that Chinese tourists will start visiting Nepal very soon. “We have visited many places and found Nepal safe. I think we will come here again,” added Ru.
According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal received 123,805 Chinese tourists in 2014, up 10 percent compared to 2013. At present, four Chinese carriers — Air China, China Southern, China Eastern and Sichuan Airlines — connect Kathmandu with different Chinese cities.