Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong (L) speaks at the Inauguration ceremony of Nepal Chinese Guide Association (NECGA) in Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 31, 2017. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)
KATHMANDU, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Nepal should grab the maximum benefits from China's development and growing economic prosperity, Nepali Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara said here on Thursday.
Inaugurating the newly registered organization "Nepal Chinese Guide Association," an umbrella body of all the Nepali guides working for the Chinese tourists under different travel and trekking companies, Mahara expressed that the Himalayan country has high hopes from China's Belt and Road Initiative.
"We are very happy with the development of China and we believe Nepal needs to learn a lot from China's economic prosperity. It's high time we need to gain benefits from such prosperous neighbor under newly launched initiatives like the Belt and Road," Mahara said.
Mentioning about the booming tourism, Mahara said that Nepali guides are the true ambassadors to boost the bilateral ties between the two neighbors, especially in enhancing people-to-people relations.
According to the Nepal Chinese Guide Association, it has 250 qualified and trained members in total who have proficiency in Chinese language and culture.
Addressing the event, Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said China has always kept Nepal's tourism development in priority.
Stating that Nepal is rich in resources for tourism, she said the proficient and skilled guides are one of the reasons of growing Chinese tourists' arrivals in Nepal.
Yu said, "To attract more tourists in the country, Nepal government and stakeholders should focus on security of tourists, infrastructures development, more promotion of tourism and skilled guide production among others."
China is the second largest tourist source market for Nepal after the southern neighbor India. According to government statistics, Chinese tourist arrivals jumped to nearly 100,000 in 2016.
"In recent years, Chinese tourists have sustained Nepal's tourism industry. Realizing its importance and to contribute to national economy, we all guides are moving ahead in an organized manner," Apulal Awale, President of Nepal Chinese Guide Association, told Xinhua.