Developing tourism in Western Nepal

Tourism in Western Nepal: Tapping unexplored potential

Western Nepal has much to offer tourists: the biggest herd of swamp deer in Asia in Suklaphanta National Park, the majestic beauty of the alpine meadows, forests and lakes in Khaptad National Park and the picturesque hiking trails in the Api and Saipal Mountains. Yet, despite the variety of sights the region has to offer, its tourism potential has not yet been fully tapped. That is why, as part of its development cooperation with Nepal, Germany is assisting the Nepalese government in promoting tourism in the western part of the country.

Tourism Development Society (TDS)

A circle of like-minded entrepreneurs in Western Nepal decided to establish a destination management organisation and founded the Tourism Development Society (TDS) in 2012 with a view to attracting tourists to the region and promoting responsible tourism. The founders committed to pay one per cent of their business revenues to the organisation.

Since 2013, German development cooperation experts have been working with TDS to improve services for tourists and develop new tourism products that will also benefit marginalised groups in the region.

Bringing interest groups together

At a regional workshop on tourism planning organised by TDS in May 2016, 25 organisations from the private sector, the public sector and civil society founded the West Nepal Tourism Alliance. TDS acts as the secretariat for the Alliance and brings the most important interest groups together, in order to create income opportunities for the local people and preserve the region's natural and cultural heritage.

Diversifying products and services

The West Nepal Tourism Alliance promotes the marketing of the region as a tourist destination and, at the same time, works to expand the range of products and services on offer there.

Furthermore, in recent years, TDS has supported the development of numerous different "travel packages" offered by local tour operators. These packages are being offered by 20 local tour operators and 13 tour operators based in Kathmandu.