KATHMANDU, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) — Nepalese tourism entrepreneurs and stakeholders have welcomed the government’s decision to begin process for opening a new consulate general office in China.
The establishment of consulate general office in Chengdu in China’s southwestern Sichuan province is expected to restore Nepal’s tourism, which has been hit hard by the April 25 earthquake and a five-month energy crisis.
“It is a welcoming move of the government. The new consulate office in Chengdu will help boosting tourism and growing the economy. It will flourish aviation business as well,” Dhiraj Shrestha, deputy sales manager of China Southern Airlines, told Xinhua on Friday.
Kathmandu and Chengdu are regarded as geographically closer and similar in cultural terms. Among the four Chinese carriers connecting Nepal to China, Sichuan Airlines operates flights from Chengdu to Kathmandu.
China is expected to be the top tourism source market for the Himalayan country due to the opening of new consulate general office in addition to the visa fee waiving policy for Chinese tourists, China is expected to be the top tourism source market for the Himalayan country.
“April 25 earthquake and Indian blockade has crippled our business. We are hopeful that this step will invite more and more Chinese tourists in the country, ” Arun Panthi, sales manager of Alternative Destinations Travel & Tours said.
Arrivals from China have dropped to a four-year low of 66,984 individuals in 2015, down 45.89 percent from the previous year owing to devastating disaster and fuel crisis.
Till date, Nepal has only two consulate general offices in China – Lhasa of Tibet and Hong Kong.