4 September 2018
Kathmandu— 4 September 2018 — Today at the Cross-Border Travel and Trade Fair in Halji Village, Humla, the Head of German Development Cooperation Dr. Claudia Hiepe emphasized the opportunities that tourism can bring to communities in West Nepal.
Humla, a unique tourism destination in Nepal, draws increasing numbers of tourists in recent years. While majority of visitors currently use Humla’s strategic location as the entrance for spiritual visits to Mount Kailash-Manasarovar, the region has more to offer. Examples of that are The Great Himalayan Trail including the Limi Valley Trek, Rara to Humla Trek and Humla Nyinga Valley Trek to Raling Gompa, drawing visitors from long-haul destinations in Europe, including the German market with a particular interest in trekking. Sustainable planning and development of the destination, product diversification and tourism enterprise development in the region would pave the way to increase overnight stays and expenditures in Humla.
The German Development Cooperation supports the development of tourism in West Nepal through a tourism alliance initiated by the Tourism Development Society (TDS). Representatives from the public and private sector from Province 7, Province 5 and Karnali have identified joint opportunities in attracting more tourists to the region. However, one of the main bottlenecks as identified by this West Nepal Tourism Alliance is the comparatively high airfares of domestic flights for international travelers hampering connectivity of destinations in the west with existing tourism hubs in Nepal.
A cross-border approach between municipalities, provinces and even neighboring countries would ease access and make destinations more attractive providing a diverse tourist experience to travelers. Province 7, Province 5 and Karnali have all it needs to put West Nepal on the tourism map. To effectively target a broader market segment, it requires such joint effort in planning and development addressing accessibility and quality standards to boost the unique experience West Nepal can offer.
The area is linked through culture and trade routes in the transboundary landscape around Mt. Kailash to Pulan County in China and Pithoragarh District in India. This landscape is conserved and developed through efforts of ICIMOD and GDC.
The German Development Cooperation through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) continues providing technical assistance in the tourism sector in the region by promoting public private dialogue for sustainable destination management. Focus of support is on institutional development of selected tourism organizations building on the new federal structures to create a conducive environment for job and income generation for people living in the West of Nepal.