The government has been not only suggested to provide incentives but also to give priority industry status to boost the tourism sector, one of the key foreign currency earner.
The report, prepared by the High Level Committee under the coordination of secretary at the prime minister's office Lila Mani Poudel, concluded that the government should focus on proper infrastructure development and maintain law and order situation apart from giving the sector high priority. “Nepal though well ranked in the world tourism market, still needs to develop its quality and become more competitive adding more infrastructures,” noted the report. “Better infrastructure could increase the length of stay of the tourists.”
The report was prepared after holding discussion and collecting suggestions from various tourism entrepreneurs and studying condition of world tourism market in 2010, world tourist arrivals, total tourist nights, and tourist arrivals in Nepal from 1962 to 2011.
The report also included issues related to different charges and taxes in the tourism sector and the overall condition of Nepal in the World Tourism Competitive Index 2011. Nepal ranks 112 out of 139 countries in the World Tourism Competitive Index 2011.
The committee led by the secretary of the Prime Minister’s office Lila Mani Poudel submitted the final report to Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai suggesting him to give tourism sector the national priority industry status.
The report has also suggested giving tax holidays for the entrepreneurs for establishing hotels in the western part of the country. The committee has also recommended the government to allow custom and tax discounts to the tourism and aviation sector, separate electricity charges, develop tourism friendly rules and regulations, and also allow the facility to lease land to attract foreign investments in the sector.
The cabinet meeting in September 2011 had formed a 13-member High Level Committee to study the overall scenario of tourism in the country and submit a report with recommendations regarding the improvements and facilities needed for the development and promotion of the tourism industry as a national priority industry.
“The government must develop short-term and long-term plans for the tourism sector to establish it as a national priority industry,” noted the final report.