The combo picture shows people pull the chariot of Seto Machhendranath to mark beginning of Seto Machhendranath chariot festival on April 13, 2019 (top) and the empty street of Ratnapark on April 1, 2020 (bottom) in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. As the country faces the continuous lockdown due to rising number of COVID-19 cases, the chariot festival of Seto Machhendranath, the god of rain, which is celebrated annually, is canceled for this year. (Xinhua /Sunil Sharma)
KATHMANDU, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Nepali government has decided to cancel the Visit Nepal Year-2020 campaign as international travels have been badly affected due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a senior official of Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said Tuesday.
The Himalayan country had targeted to attract two million foreign tourists in 2020 during the Visit Nepal Year, almost double of the number of foreign tourists it received in 2019.
The campaign was planned to revitalize Nepal's tourism industry after the 2015 earthquakes affected the tourism sector badly.
Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, secretary at the Tourism Ministry told Xinhua on Tuesday that as per the cabinet decision on March 22, the Visit Nepal Year-2020 has been cancelled, which was not made public till Tuesday.
Currently, Nepal has enforced a nationwide lockdown halting both surface and air transports while halting movement of people through the country's international border points. Nepali government on Sunday extended suspension of international flights until April 15. Nepal has five confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far.