VLY 2012 campaign fails to double Lumbini visitors
LUMBINI, Oct 15: The total number of tourists visiting Lumbini has increased by just 20 percent during the last nine months compared to the number recorded during the same period last year despite the government´s commitment to double the number of visitors in 2012.
Lumbini received 523,934 visitors including Nepalis during the in first nine months of this year against the target of receiving one million tourists.
If the trend so far is anything to go by, it is certain that the government target will not be met.
While unveiling Visit Lumbini Year (VLY) 2012 earlier this year the government had announced its intentions to welcome one million tourists, half of them foreigners to Lumbini.
“Arrivals of tourists to Lumbini have grown impressively though the target of one million tourists was an ambitious one,” vice-chairman of Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) Karma Sangbo Sherpa told the media on Sunday.
He also claimed that the campaign to promote Lumbini has been fruitful as the arrivals recorded 20 percent growth.
Sherpa along with the officials of Visit Lumbini Year (VLY) 2012 blamed the government for procedural delays in promotional activities that resulted in the failure to achieve the target.
"The tourism season has just begun and we are confident that the number of tourist will significantly increase in the next three months," he added.
The total number of visitors in Lumbini was 585,000 in 2011.
The statistics show that more than 50 percent of the visitors are domestic tourist. Number of Indian tourists visiting Lumbini has doubled over the last nine months of review period.
Entrepreneur Rajesh Kaji Shrestha who has recently started the operation of Hotel Peace Land in Lumbini said, “There is no doubt many people are visiting Lumbini. However, the number is still less than anticipated,” said Shrestha.
"The promotion of Lumbini is still not enough in the international market," he said