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INFLUENCE OF THE HIPPY CULTURE IN THE NAME OF
TOURISAM DURING EARLY SEVENTY IN NEPAL
Raj K Pandey, MBS, MA
Background and Rational
Tourism is a traditional activity of the human being that is related with traveling and it is
naturally a human character. People desire change and travel provides the pleasure and leisure.
Tourism is the movement of people from one place to another for the purpose of getting
satisfaction. The most important assets of a country are cultural norms and values that reflect in
people’s social pattern that can be used for tourism industry in Nepal.
Nepal, the country with a great diversities can please all tourists with their individual cravings
for thrilling mountain expedition, trekking and jungle safari with world's largest variety of
birds, highly turbulent revering adventures and fascinating romance. For instance, panoramic
flight scene and hot air ballooning, taste of uniquely rich diverse culture, geographical miracles
bewitching lakes, national parks and hunting reserves, Buddhist monasteries and exceptional
Moreover, indigenous knowledge, skills and practices, cast, ethnicity, custom and social values
are other attractions for the social and anthropological studies in Nepal that can be regarded as
socio-economic force for poverty reduction and rural development in Nepal.
It was only in early 1950s that Nepal came out of its centuries-old isolation and embarked on
the path of modern development. One of the most immediate effects was the advent of tourism.
The few foreign visitors who wandered during the early days were overwhelmed by the wealth
of culture and natural wonders in Nepal. They went back to tell glowing tales of a Shangri-La.
The first ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953 further enhanced image and made it known world as an
adventure destination, which was inception phase of tourism.
The panoramic natural beauty found in mountain areas with its different eco-systems and
country's rich cultural heritage attracts global tourists. Nepal holds a considerably number of
places recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites. We have ten world heritage sites and
seven of them are located within Kathmandu. Some of the UNESCO recognized heritage sites
are: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Temple, Changu
Narayan, Lumbini etc. which are not only our precious monuments but of the global people
who are serious for conservation of the ancient heritages.
Moreover, Nepal has population of approximately 23 million, which consists more than 70
ethnic groups having different cultures and dialects. According to recent census, 80% of the
people are Hindu, 15% are Buddhist, 3% are Islam and rest is divided into other religions.
Whatever may be the figure, the perfect harmony among all the people, religion and culture are
our remarkable characteristics.
All most all festivals begin with religious values and moves with spontaneous spirit into a
pleasant family feast. As religions has strong influenced over our cultures so that most of the
festivals are celebrated are directed by the religious motives that is a symbol of perfect
harmony and respect to global village.
To understand beauty and richness of our culture, it is necessary to see them through festivals.
During festivals, cultural dances, songs and performances are widely practiced and performed.
These cultural treasures make festivals more interesting and entertaining. People find more joy
participating in performances and watching others performing the different cultural activities.
The festivals are not only idle gatherings but they are also celebrated for the specific purposes
in Nepal that can be commercialized for tourism.
Due to these cultural norms and values, Nepal is a potential nation for the tourism destination.
Every year, thousands of tourists visit Nepal in order to use their holidays for not only
entertainment but also for the cultural research and studies. Moreover, Nepal can easily use its
panoramic views for tourism promotion that can further strengthen cultural preservation.
Furthermore, Nepal’s traditional cultural values can also be used for the poverty alleviation
thorough eco-tourism, religious tourism and rural destination tourism.
Nepal achieved much on rising tide of being a fashionable tourism destination. However, that
tide is ebbing fast. It is essential that the government, tourist board and the industry should
market destination in an integrated strategic way as partners than competitors.
At present, apart from the obvious problem of negative media coverage, Nepal seriously lacks
credible market research as to why exactly its tourism industry is under-performing and what
aspects of product need attention. There has been no sound marketing strategy.
Regular surveys of departing visitors are not undertaken, so the country cannot gauge their
levels of satisfaction, unsatisfied wants, spending or current propensity to return. Information
on potential and in existing markets is only beginning to be gathered and marketing
partnerships with the travel trade in these markets are lacking. However, some small attempts
have been taken by the NTB and other concerned private sectors about the research on tourism
industry of Nepal which is not a sufficient attempt in this business.
The tourism industry can be implemented as a vehicle for change for the socio-economic
progress after properly designing appropriate tourism marketing promotional strategies to face
the global cutthroat competition and utilize its benefits for the rural development.
However, it is essential to understand that what is the tourism marketing strategy of Nepal for
the tourism promotional activities and exploit its benefits for the backward communities of the
countryside particularly the rural areas where 85.6% of the people are residing under the
miserable circumstances caused by vicious circle of poverty despite the high potentiality on
tourism sector in Nepal.
The main objective of the thesis will be to assess, analyze and discuss on the tourism marketing
promotion strategy of Nepal. Similarly, the project work will be focused on the case study of
Bhaktapu Municipality. The study will flow the TU/Faculty of Humanities guidelines to
complete the thesis and project work.
Some methodologies such as survey, collecting relevant data through desk research,
comparative studies and analysis will be used and recommendations will be presented as per
need of the FoH/TU.
Significance of the Study
Economic Implication of Tourism in General: The rewards gained both financial and socio-
economic are immense in the tourism. The contribution of tourism to the economy exceeds that of
other sectors in several countries, to the extent, it appears as one of the essential elements in the trade
balance. Tourism provides direct employment to the millions of people in the hotel industry, transport,
travels, trekking and mountaineering, entertainment and also the indirect employment generating out of
them. Tourism is the only export industry that earns large amount of foreign exchange without
exploiting natural resources and without exporting manufactured or raw materials in balancing the
adverse balance of trade with the other several countries.
Sustainable Tourism in Nepal: Many tourists visit Nepal for its unique natural and cultural resources.
In 1995 over 363,000 tourists visited the country, they spent more than 117 million US dollar from
which half was generated by the trekking tourists. But only less then 1% of the tourism generated
revenue reaches to the rural areas where tourism attractions actually belongs. More than 85% people
and most of the tourism attractions are in rural areas of Nepal. Therefore tourism can be of helpful to
them economically and socially if they directly benefited from it. For this purpose, the GoN has to
formulate plans, policies and strategies to attract the tourists from global market. The rural based
tourism packages such as home stay, village, cultural, fair trade, sustainable and eco-tourism etc. to be
seriously designed and implemented. (Salvia, Naomi M. (2001). Practical Strategy for Pro-poor
Tourism. SNV-Nepal. Kathmandu. Nepal).
Statement of Problem
It is more than half centaury that Nepal’s doors were opened for the general foreigners without
sufficient infrastructure facilities for the international tourism market. At the inception phase during
mid fifties, the market was highly lucrative mainly for the mountaineering and trekking despite its
great natural beauty and high potentiality in other areas such as pilgrimage, cultural, linguistic,
geographical, social and anthropological studies for academic tourists.
The pioneer businessmen in Nepalese tourism industry were mainly foreigners who invested and
benefited form the hotel, trekking, tour operation and mountaineering sectors, as there was lack of
necessary trained manpower, knowledge, skill and constraints of resources. On the other hand, Nepal
lacked effective marketing promotional strategies to enhance our tourism sector in the global
competitive market, as it was new potential sector for Nepal.
However, on the basis of personal recommendations of the individual tourist, Nepal was branded as
Shangri-La, mountainous land locked country in international arena.
During seventies, Nepali market, particularly Jhonchhe, was considered as a paradise for then Hippies
who were highly frustrated American youth due to Vietnam War and it was an outcome of social
impacts in USA.
The Hippy culture polluted Nepalese tourism market due to easy availability of marijuana in local
market and Nepal welcomed the quantitative rather than qualitative tourist who enjoyed low cost
narcotic stuffs without legal restriction till seventies. The far western part of Nepal especially Rolpa
and Rukum including other hilly districts were most fertile land to produce the marijuana, which was
easily available around Jonchhe then popular tourist hub in Kathmandu. Due to request of USAID,
then Government of Nepal banned fertilization; production and sell of marijuana during seventies and
USAID designed and implemented the Rapti Integrated Project around far western development region
of Nepal. Probably it was due to replacement of income generation and rendered the alternative
economic activities for the peasant of hilly areas that was prone Maoist conflict affected area during
mid nineties as direct outcome of poverty.
However, to address the rural poverty in Nepal, tourist could be used as best weapon due to its vast
natural beauties. GoN has to formulate effective plans, policies and marketing strategies to attract the
diverse economic level of tourist but we are still lacking effective will power in this sector. The
tourism has been proved as most leading economic sector in the global market but what the
Government of Nepal is doing to exploit the highly potential sector and develop the rural areas through
the effective marketing promotional activities to alleviate the rural poverty in Nepal? Why tourism
sector is still crawling despite diverse potentiality in Nepal? What are plans, policies and strategies of
the concerned authorities to promote the tourism and how they are implementing strategies to grasp the
immense potentiality from the international marketing, etc. are the issues that will be thoroughly
discussed in the proposed thesis and the project work.
Objectives of the Study
To highlight mobility of the tourist in Nepal for the promotion of tourism sector;
To disseminate information on the tourism promotion marketing strategy of Nepal;
To highlight the potentiality of the tourism sector for poverty alleviation;
To assess the potentiality of rural tourism for the rural development sector in Nepal
After rigorous assessment and study, it is expected that there will be two outputs as thesis and project
field work as a mandatory assignment to submit for the MA Rural Development Course under the
DoH/TU. The outcome may proved useful as pedagogical assets for the planners, academia,
professional and concerned stakeholders who are interested on the tourism sector.
Researcher will combined the different research designs in preparing the thesis and field work project
report such as historical, exploratory, explanatory, descriptive, case study, field survey, observation as
necessary as all tools will be equally important for the better thesis output.
Approach and Methodology
Population and Sample
The smallest set of values, as sampling will be selected from the population of the tourists who visit
Nepal. The purpose of selecting sample respondents are to lower the cost and enhance the accuracy.
Some sampling methods such as simple random, systematic, cluster, etc. will be used with a
combination of non-probability sampling such as convenience, purposive, quota, export and snowball
to conduct this survey.
Source of Data
Primary qualitative data will be collected through a small survey that is based on the sampling around
the tourist hub of the valley. Several tourists will be formally and informally interviewed and some
concerned experts, officials, businessman, etc. on the tourism sector will be visited and thoroughly
discussed about the issues.
Moreover, reference library and publications of the related organizations will be the main source for
the secondary data, which may proved helpful to prepare the thesis and the project fieldwork report.
Moreover, secondary data will be collected from NTB, Government of Nepal’s concerned
ministries/departments, donors, projects, private and public sectors. Literatures of the different writers
and organizations’ publications will be widely reviewed to get the facts and figures about the tourism
and its strategies particularly in the context of Nepal for rural development purpose.
Data Collection Techniques
Due to nature, scope and objective of the inquiry and also limitations of the time and resources, the
researcher will widely use the secondary data. However, to some extend, researcher will also collect
the primary data from individual visitors, concerned experts, tour operators and officials representing
government and private sectors who are involving for the tourism market promotion activities in
Nepal. For this purpose, direct personal observation at tourist hobs, indirect oral investigation such as
phone and e-mail contacts, scheduled based interviews and focus group discussions, etc. will be used
simultaneously despite the limitations of the resource constraints.
Data Analysis Tools
In order to exclude the irrelevant unnecessary data and process them as per thesis and project work
requirements, data will be edited, coded, categorized and properly tabulated. The data will be arranged,
grouped and accordingly entered into appropriate tabular form. Moreover, simple one-way table will
be used to present the data, which will be flowed by an in-depth interpretation as necessary to prepare
for the MA Rural Development thesis and the project fieldwork report.
Limitations of the Methodology
As all research has the limitations and so will be faced by this researcher while conducting and
implementing the research design in the practical fieldwork.
The research will focus on the potentiality of Nepalese tourism business in the international tourism
market and also review the existing government plans, policies and strategies in promoting the
potential tourism industry for the socio-economic development of rural Nepal.
However, research will be totally silent about the implications of the tourism industry and its remedies.
Moreover, the thesis will also ignore the possible opportunity, threat, weakness and strength caused by
several uncontrollable factors such as environmental, socio-economic, geo-politics, socio-cultural to
the rural marginalized communities of Nepal who deserves the rights of benefits from rural tourism
sector due to right based approach in developmental phenomenon.
Limitations of the Study
Very little information may be available regarding the arrival of the tourists in Nepal although most of
the contents of the thesis and project report will be based on secondary data. Limited time and
resources available to collect primary data will be another constraint. On the basis of my previous
working experience on such studies, the researcher found several problems while collecting primary
data from the concerned government authorities, local communities and the tourism based industries
since they were not cooperative to provide the required information that the researcher needed to
conduct similar empirical study. Moreover, due to technical and budgetary constraints, researcher will
not collect the necessary photographs of the heritage sites.
Scope of Study
The thesis will contain the information regarding the arrival of tourists from different nations and its
contribution for the alleviation of the poverty. Moreover, it will also give a short picture of the tourism
potentiality of Nepal in international competitive market. The thesis will mainly discuss the tourism
promotion marketing strategies of Nepal to attract the global tourists. On the other hand, the project
work will reveal the case study of the Bhaktapur Municipality on tourism.
Moreover, the thesis and project work will be prepared on the basis of current trend in the market but it
will not include possible threats and challenges that Nepalese tourism industry may have to tackle in
the day to come. Similarly, the study will also not cover the impacts of the tourism sector on socio-
economic and socio-cultural aspect of Nepal. The positive and negative impacts in environment,
economy, cultural and social issues particularly social mobility, gender and children are huge field for
study so they needed to be seriously taken into account while formulating tourism plans, policies and
strategies by the concerned authorities of GoN.
Action Plan and Process
The researcher will immediately start the preliminary study as soon as this proposal is approved by the
concerned department. For this rationale, several discussions, meetings and interactions will be held
with thesis supervisor and concerned stakeholders. The suggestions and experience will be
incorporated and the structural set of questionnaires will be used as tools. The field and desk research
will be conducted simultaneously and ultimately final version will be submitted to the concerned RD
Department for an evaluation purpose, which will be flowed by presentation.
Title of the Study
Thesis Proposal: An Assessment of Tourism Marketing Strategies in Nepal
Project Work Proposal: Tourism in Bhaktapur Municipality-A Case Study
Time frame and work schedules
It is estimated that the study will be completed within eight working weeks and first draft will be
submitted within ten weeks of the study. Moreover, the final outcomes will be submitted with in
twelve weeks after incorporating suggestions from the supervisor and other concerned partners.