12 history of tourisam in nepal
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  • 1. 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 natural beauties.  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. -1-
  • 2.  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. -2-
  • 3.  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. -3-
  • 4. 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 Expected Outputs 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. Research Design 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. -4-
  • 5. 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. -5-
  • 6. 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. -6-