In a bid to promote regional tourism India and Nepal will undertake joint efforts to market various products and packages. High on the agenda is religious and spiritual tourism. Amitabh Kant Joint Secretary Ministry of Tourism told exchange4media that India and Nepal Tourism Board will be joint promoting Buddhist circuit in two countries to boost regional tourism. “ Worldwide about 91% of tourism is within the region. In Europe and USA it is 78% whereas in South East Asia it is merely 24%. So there is lot of potential to be tapped. From that point of view the Indo-Nepal tourism cooperation is quiet important. India and Nepal will jointly promote Buddhist circuit that include Lumbini, UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in Nepal and Gaya and Rajgir in India.”
Tek Bahadur Dangi CEO of Nepal Tourism Board told exchange4media that South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation was readying a comprehensive package under which various joint regional tourism products and packages including Buddhist package would be developed. In order to boost regional tourism between India and Nepal, NTB has launched Pashupati Nath Darshan Package in association with Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation and Pashupati Area Development Trust. “ Nepal has always been popular with Indians as a recreational, shopping and pilgrimage destination. India generates one third of total tourist traffic to Nepal. In 2003 while Nepal recorded overall 23% growth with 265600 tourists, it had record 33% growth in Indian tourists traffic. Out of our total promotional budget of about Rs 6 crore we have year market about Rs 1crore for India,” told Dangi.
NTB is now in the process of redesigning its global brand of Mystical Kingdom Destination Nepal “ We will world out country specific brand and sub-brands. For India our brand focus will be pilgrimage and spiritual packages besides other attraction like recreation and shopping. And in order to promote that we will be launching a major branding exercise in India through road shows beginning with Chandigarh and Gujarat” says Dangi. Currently NTB is in the process of launching an ad campaign in print and electronic media to promote newly launched Pashupati Nath Temple package.