KATHMANDU, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Nepal observed the 38th World Tourism Day by organizing various programs across the country on Monday.
The World Tourism Day, which falls on Sept. 27 globally, was marked a few days prior in Nepal due to the occurrence of biggest festival Dashain, which starts from Wednesday.
To mark the day, a special procession was taken out in the capital city, with the attendance of officials of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal Tourism Board, tourism entrepreneurs and representatives from various tourism related associations.
Addressing a program organized by the government, Tourism Secretary Maheshwor Neupane expressed hopes that the arrival of tourists in Nepal will reach 1 million by the end of this year.
"There is a need to focus on India and China with creative ideas to entice more tourists from these two neighbors," Neupane said.
With the ambitious plan of "Visit Nepal Year" in 2020, Nepal government has set a target to bring in 2 million tourists each year. The ministry is planning to establish a secretariat for the "Visit Nepal Year" shortly to make necessary preparations.
Earlier, the ministry had planned to celebrate "Visit Nepal Year" in 2018, which was put off due to the delay in construction of airports, heritage sites and roads.
However, the new action plan has given due priority to the early completion of the construction and expansion of the international and domestic airports, heritage sites and other tourism infrastructure.
Currently, India, China, the United States, Britain and Sri Lanka are the major source countries of tourists. As many as 729,550 foreign tourists had visited Nepal in 2016.