Nepali entrepreneurs moot cross-border tourism

Kathmandu, Jan 7 (IANS) Tourism experts in Nepal have come up with a new proposal for cross-border tourism in the Himalayan region, the media reported on Thursday.

At a forum here on Wednesday, tourism entrepreneurs proposed promotion of the Himalayan region — including Nepal, Tibet’s capital Lhasa, India’s north-eastern state of Sikkim and Bhutan — as a cross-border tourism route, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The symbolic route within four different countries can be a major attraction for foreign tourists,” Bikram Pandey, president of Himalayan Expedition Nepal, said addressing the event.

Tourism entrepreneurs here have mulled over two separate Buddhist and Hindu circuits in the region. They have devised a guided tour route, including Kathmandu and Mustang of Nepal; Lhasa, Saga and Mount Kailash of Tibet; Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Sikkim of India and Paro of Bhutan.

They believe that the cross-border connectivity will narrow down the existing gap in the tourism sector across the Himalayan region. However, the experts also pointed to the challenges of this new initiative.

“Transportation, tourism facilitation and government policies can be difficult for cross-border tourism in the initial phase,” said Prachanda Man Shrestha, chairman of National Tourism Foundation,

Nepali tourism entrepreneurs have already received the green light from the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation of India.

However, they are yet to hold formal talks with tourism entrepreneurs of China and Bhutan.

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