Mountain Tourism Becomes a New Communication Channel between China and Nepal

May 24, 2019 – The kingdom of Nepal, located at the southern foothills of the Himalayas, lying adjacent to the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and a necessary place for tourists. Meanwhile, it is also the first venue to host the event of International Mountain Tourism Day.

Under the promotion of “The Belt and Road”, Nepal and China have had more and more frequent exchanges, in which, tourism has been involved. Mrs. Shrestha, an official of Nepal Tourism Board, said in an interview, “The number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal has been doubled in 12 years, which is one of the positive effects of Nepal’s joining “The Belt and Road”.

Nepal will become a new favorite of Chinese tourists

Snow covers a chain of mountains, and blue waves ripple over the quiet lakes. With its unique geographical location, the kingdom of Nepal has got rich and diverse natural resources, which are the largest capital for its tourism economy development.

With the improvement of residents’ living standards, more and more Chinese tourists begin to visit Japan, Korea, Thailand and other neighboring countries, including Nepal. Data shows that China is Nepal’s largest source of direct foreign investment and second largest source of tourism cooperation. In 2018, the number of Chinese tourists to Nepal has reached 150,000, increasing 46.8% over the previous year.

It is worth mentioning that in order to support Nepal’s tourism development, China not only provides technical support to Nepal in transportation, hydropower, communications and other aspects, but also helps Nepal improve its infrastructure construction. In recent years, Chinese related institutions and organizations have also vigorously trained Chinese language talents in Nepal and trained the local people in Chinese, which has played a positive role in improving the quality of Nepal’s tourism services.

In order to welcome the upcoming “Nepal’s Tour Year in 2020”, Nepal Tourism Board has held several “Nepal’s Night” tourism promotion meetings in Beijing, Changsha and other places this year. Nepal Tourism Board expressed that it would cooperate with Ctrip, Didi, WeChat, Alipay and other companies, for greatly facilitating Chinese tourists to visit and consume in Nepal. Therefore, Nepal is expected to become a new favorite of Chinese tourists.

Construct the three-dimensional network of interconnection and communication

Nepal, as a “mountain country” at the southern foothills of the Himalayas, is still one of the least developed countries in the world, with relatively backward transportation, energy, electricity and tourism. However, it also means that the country has a larger space for development.

In fact, the exchanges between China and Nepal has gradually penetrated from tourism to economy, trade and social construction under the guidance of “The Belt and Road”.

In June 2018, Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal, once said that, “the cooperation between the two countries focuses on interconnection and communication across the Himalayas, which will create a more favorable environment for mutual trade and investment,” during his visit to China.

Under the co-construction of China and Nepal, the both sides have achieved certain results in the field of interconnection and communication. In 2018, the two sides have successfully opened cross-border land optical fibers, and vigorously promoted the construction of cross-border railway transport lines and new international airports, along with transport construction of the port and road, to build a three-dimensional network of interconnection and communication across Himalaya.

Jointly explore the methods of rural revitalization

Mountain area has always been one of the main concentration areas of the poor, and the development of mountain tourism will make use of mountain resources in line with the local conditions, attract mountain tourism and outdoor sports enthusiasts and investors into the mountain area, so as to “open source” the income of the local public and benefit them.

Wei Xiao’an, President of China Leisure Association, expressed at the 2018 International Mountain Tourism Alliance Forum in Beijing, that the core factor of poverty alleviation in mountain tourism lies in opening up, including opening measures, opening means, opening channels. Only by this way can the market become more and more prosperous.

Tibet is connected with Nepal’s mountains and rivers, and has a strong connection in tourism resources and transportation conditions. Tibet is an important export for Chinese people to enter Nepal, and Nepal is also a key distribution center for overseas tourists to travel to Tibet. It is of great significance to strengthen the connection between the two sides, and promote the development of rural economy in border areas and increase the income of residents, by strengthening tourism cooperation and exchanges between the two sides and fully integrating and giving play to their respective advantages.

Nowadays, Nepal has adopted a visa-free policy for Chinese tourists. The tourists can directly enter Nepal through traveling documents issued by Tibet border administrate office, which greatly facilitates the exchanges of tourists between the two sides. Meanwhile, the improvement of traffic conditions and the promotion of tourism culture also make the “Tibet-Nepal” tourism routes further optimized and more popular. To some extent, tourism has become an important channel between Tibet and Nepal.

On May 29, 2019, the launching ceremony of the first “International Mountain Tourism Day” and International Forum on Mountain Tourism, co-sponsored by Nepal Tourism Board, The People’s Government of Guizhou Province, International Mountain Tourism Alliance, Thamel Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd., will also be held in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

Dai Bin, President of China Tourism Academy, once said that, from the living conditions, the establishment of International Mountain Tourism Day will help to arouse young people’s awareness of being close to mountains and rivers, promoting the healthy development of personality and human civilization. Thus it can be seen that it benefits the nation and people. Meanwhile, the International Mountain Tourism Day can attract investors and operators in the tourism industry to invest in the huge market of mountain tourism. It also provides a platform for tourism organizations and market participants around the world to exchange and learn from each other, which is conducive to promoting international exchanges of mountain tourism. Generally speaking, the establishment of International Mountain Tourism Day is of great significance to promote international exchanges and business cooperation in tourism, summarize successful experiences and promote sustainable development of mountain and ecological tourism.

Nepal, as the first venue of International Mountain Tourism Day, undoubtedly has its unique advantages and attractions in mountain tourism resources. With all of these, Nepal will take closer cooperation and contacts with China through the medium of mountain tourism, and jointly accomplish the goal of developing economy and promoting sustainable development of mountain tourism under the initiative of “The Belt and Road”.

On May 29, 2019, the development of mountain tourism will open a new chapter in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Let us expect the success and glory of it.

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