The Nepalese embassy organised a ceremony at the Embassy Hall on January 7 to officially inaugurate the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign in Qatar. The ceremony was inaugurated by ambassador Dr Narad Nath Bharadwaj and Farhan al-Sheikh al-Sayed, founder and patron of Qatar Extreme Sports and president of the International Walking Football Federation-Qatar by lighting the traditional lamp of Nepal.
Dignitaries launching the campaign at the ceremony in Doha
Abdullah Yousef A Fakhroo, former ambassador of Qatar to Belgium and the US, Salem al-Marri, PR manager of Katara-the Cultural Village Foundation, senior officials and representatives of travel and tour operators in Qatar, senior officials and representatives of money exchange companies, Qatari businesspersons, senior officials of non-resident Nepalese associations as well prominent members of the Nepalese community in Qatar attended the ceremony.
Nepal's government declared 2020 as the Visit Nepal Year with a target to achieve 2mn arrivals, according to the campaign's executive summary. Visit Nepal 2020 is positioned as a 'Lifetime Experience' in a bid to position Nepal as one of the world’s most unique experiential and lifetime value destination.
The programme started with the national anthems of Nepal and Qatar. A brief video on Nepal's tourism highlights and attractions was presented during the ceremony. Similarly, a presentation was made on the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign, major tourism destinations in Nepal and the imperatives for visiting Nepal in 2020 during the ceremony.
During the presentation, Bhuvan Bhatta, second secretary of the Nepal embassy, explained the reasons for visiting visit Nepal in 2020. He noted that Nepal has 10 national parks, six conservation areas, one hunting reserve and two wildlife reserves, cultural marvels and diversity, more than 100 lakes, 35 popular trekking routes, eight of the world's highest peaks measuring over 8,000m, including Mt Everest, 10 Unesco World Heritage Sites, over 10,000 species of birds and wild animals, more than 50 rivers, white-water rafting and adventure sports offerings for global travellers. Welcoming the guests, charge d'affaires Laxman Khanel invited guests to visit Nepal in 2020. He sought the co-operation of the Nepalese community to make the campaign a grand success, stressing that such an initiative will help achieve the goal of economic prosperity in the country.
Dr Bharadwaj referred to the close and cordial relations between Nepal and Qatar. He said the two countries are exploring collaborations in new areas, especially in the economic sector. He highlighted the tourism prospects of Nepal and appealed to Qatari nationals as well as members of expatriate community in Qatar to visit Nepal in 2020 with family and friends.
Al-Sayed extended best wishes to the campaign and assured that the Qatari people would support the campaign from their end. He also highlighted the need for further promoting the tourism potential of Nepal among the local population against the backdrop of closer people-to-people relations evident from a large Nepalese community in Qatar.
Direct and frequent flights between the two capitals, reaching six flights a day, already offer an advantage in terms of promoting tourism in Nepal among Qataris, he noted, adding that he would visit Nepal and gain the 'Lifetime Experience'.
R K Sharma, secretary of the Non-Resident Nepalese Association International Co-ordination Committee and a prominent Nepali entrepreneur in Qatar, talked about the heritage of Nepal. He added that Nepal has reached an agreement with the association of non-resident Nepalese nationals to promote the country based on the "send one foreign friend to Nepal" concept.
Fakhroo shared the memory of his past three visits to Nepal. He also reflected on the beauty of Nepal as well as the cordial nature of the Nepalese people. He will visit Nepal soon to support the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign and carry out some social support activities in Nepal, he shared. Dr Bharadwaj handed over a tourist visa of Nepal to Fakhroo on the occasion.