Seeking Himachal's assistance in promoting tourism, Nepal is all set to reach out to people with the message that their country is safe for tourists. Himachal Pradesh will lay emphasis on promoting Nepal as a spot for spiritual tourism in order to help it's rebuilding.
Nepal's ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay said that the earthquake, which caused massive damage in the region, has hit the tourism sector in Nepal very hard. "Several tourism sites have been damaged fully, partially and a message goes out that there is nothing left in Nepal for tourists, which is not true," he said, adding, "We are reaching out to everyone and telling that Nepal is safe and several historic monuments including Pashupati Nath temple are safe."
Speaking at a seminar organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), he said an open border has ensured uninterrupted flow of people between India and Nepal. "In 2013, over 1.80lakh Indian tourists visited Nepal making up 23% of all tourist arrival," he added.
Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh state tourism board vice-chairman and former tourism minister Major Vijay Singh Mankotia said all Himalayan states might join hands to setup a national regional hill development authority, with Nepal and Bhutan as members.
Nepal tourism board head of the department for tourism products and resources development, Mani Raj Lamichhane, gave a presentation informing the gathering about the devastation in Nepal by earthquake and the state of tourism sector in Nepal.
Meanwhile, a FICCI representative said the seminar was organised to enhance bilateral trade, investment and cooperation between India and Nepal and identify the emerging business opportunities like tourism, hydro-power, construction, wood and wood products, telecom, food processing, chemicals and engineering.
Shimla municipal corporation mayor Sanjay Chauhan, chairman of Himachal Pradesh public service commission KS Tomar also spoke on the occasion and assured state's assistance for rebuilding Nepal.