Nepal declares 2011 year of tourism

Nepal launches its 2011 Tourism Year campaignThe tiny Himalayan country of Nepal is making a major push to attract visitors this year, as they’ve kicked off the 2011 Tourism Year campaign hoping to lure travelers with their vast natural wonders, that include the tallest mountain in the world in Mt. Everest.

The overall goal of the program is to raise awareness in countries across the globe of everything that Nepal has to offer. The country is famous for its fantastic trekking and climbing throughout the Himalaya Mountains of course, but also offers plenty of cultural immersion, complete with a heavy Buddhist influence. For those looking to for something other than a mountain experience, there is also the Chitwan region, which offers a tropical rainforest setting and plenty of wildlife to view as well.

While Nepal has set a goal of luring more than 1 million visitors from around the world into it’s borders in 2011, the Tourism Year program is squarely aimed at neighboring India. Officials hope to draw more than 300,000 travelers from that country alone, and an organized marketing campaign is already underway in ten cities along the border between the two nations.

Nepal’s economy is highly dependent on the tourism trade, and these efforts show just how important it is to the government there. If they hope to bring in more visitors however, that government is going to have to remain stable. One of the challenges of traveling in the Himalayan country is the political unrest has, at times, made some regions unsafe, and general strikes in Kathmandu can bring that city to a halt, with travel in and out at a stand still.

Still, those issues aside, travelers who do make the journey are in for a treat. Adventure travelers will especially love hiking in the mountains and those looking for a healthy dose of culture won’t be disappointed either. Kathmandu can be noisy and chaotic, but head out into the countryside and you’ll find quaint villages, beautiful temples, and friendly people who love to welcome visitors from abroad.