High hopesThe KP Oli administration is eager to diversify air routes, especially to Asia and Europe. This can happen, provided CAAN will be divided into two entities.
The appointment of Yogesh Bhattarai as the new Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation has brought new hope for many tourism entrepreneurs (‘New tourism minister faces a slew of challenges, especially on policy’, August 1). The KP Oli administration is eager to diversify air routes, especially to Asia and Europe. This can happen, provided CAAN will be divided into two entities focusing on regulation and service provision—to make both entities function efficiently. But Nepal is already facing a resource crunch in the hospitality industry when it comes to catering to more than one million tourists in the past year. It is important to upgrade professional staffing and training to facilitate eco-tourism; more tourists are going trekking and mountain climbing and for wildlife safaris. Nepal Airlines can be turned around, and Visit Nepal 2020 can be a truly achievable goal, too. Further, Nepali tourism entrepreneurs can bask in their success. But all can only happen if Bhattarai is given the practical tools and bureaucratic support to reshape the way work is carried out in the sector. Nepali livelihoods now increasingly rely on the tourism business, while the non-resident Nepali diaspora is ready to invest in its future.
Surya B Prasai, Washington DC