Nepal Tourism Year 2011, inaugurated by the president of Nepal in the presence of tourism ministers from the SAARC region on January 14, is the biggest tourism promotion campaign and the second of its kind after the Visit Nepal Year 1998. In order to develop the tourism industry to tap immense tourism potential of Nepal, the government announced 2011 as Nepal Tourism Year two years ago on October 25, 2008.
Declared with the target to bring one million tourists in the year, the campaign seeks to pool together the resources, experience, and expertise of the increasingly flourishing private sectors, NGOs, INGOs, and non-resident Nepalis to develop Nepal as a leading travel destination; to advance and further expand tourism infrastructure; and also to involve the community participation in tourism by building their capacity for providing accommodation to the tourists themselves.
Consequently, the vibe of this campaign has seized the communities from all over Nepal. Many districts of Nepal have already organised fetes, called Mahotsavs, for promoting tourism and for bringing its fruits to the backwaters of Nepal. These localised events also reflect the theme of this campaign to highlight ecotourism, cultural tourism and homestay packages in addition to the usual attractions.
Tourism is identified as a backbone of the national economy in Nepal, a country in the world that offers inexhaustible attraction for all kinds of tourists. While it is a Mecca for the mountaineers of the world because of Mount Everest, including 7 other 8000m-plus peaks, the list of adventures available here includes paragliding, trekking, bungee jumping, canoyning, rafting, jungle safari, and the list could go on and on. A number of visitors come to Nepal every year also for sightseeing, for satisfying their curiosities about different endangered species of flora and fauna, for pilgrimage, and for tasting the warmth of Nepalese hospitality. Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, and it also consists of numerous Hindu shrines. An amazing degree of geographical, climatic, bio and cultural diversity, within 147,181 square kilometres total area, has made Nepal a destination of incessant quest, conquest, and fascination.
Since the declaration of Nepal Tourism Year 2011, the government of Nepal has performed a number of promotional activities in the major cities of the world and it has announced to continue doing so throughout the year.