Tourism – A national priority industry

Given the importance of tourism industry to Nepal’s economy, a High Level Committee, coordinated by Lilamani Paudel, Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, in its report has recognized tourism as a national priority industry. The committee has urged the government to provide special facilities to the tourism industry, which includes exempting the income tax, providing facility of lands in lease as given to forest resources industries, providing soft loans for running hotels and resorts in the 22 districts that were declared by Industry Act-2049 BS as underdeveloped ones, simplifying the registration process for Homestay and providing services and facilities for homestays as under micro industries. In order to bring to an end the migration of able manpower from the country to foreign shores, the committee has also stressed on linking the Youth Self-employment programme with tourism. The report stressed that the government should exempt royalty on those mountains that are visited by fewer tourists like Mt. Cho Oyu and should allow helicopters to make rescue and evacuation flights without any obstruction. The committee has urged the government to provide special honors and cash awards to the travel and trekking entrepreneurs that bring more than 500 foreign tourists.