International tourism involves the movement of people outside their country of residence with the aim of leisure (Altindag 2014, p. 34). In can as well be understood as the commercial operation and organization of visitations and vacations to places of individual interest outside their country of residence according to King (2015, p. 497). This paper reviews different aspects of international tourism in the Asian Pacific region. The paper focuses on negative publicity in Nepal and how it has affected tourism in the region in the last decade. The review is based on an article published in 2017 in the Travelbizness website as well as the support of other related literature on international tourism.
Summary of the Article
Tourism is one of the largest global service industries regarding foreign exchange earnings and gross revenue. It has the capacity of generating great employment opportunities in the rural regions of Asia and contributing to poverty eradication in both developing and least-developed countries. The arrivals of international tourism have globally risen to 6.2%, growing up to 980 million in 2015 as compared to the 25 million it was in the late 1990s. This international growth has also been experienced in different regions of the Asian Pacific regions. However, there are a number of aspects that are affecting the industry both positively and negatively. The industry is faced with different challenges from aspects such as insecurity, terrorism, infrastructural development, federal policies, and political instabilities among other aspects. Nepal is currently in a new era of restoration towards peace and political instability that has affected tourism in the country for a long time. The government is hence working towards a well-planned strategy that is aimed at enhancing the international image of Nepal. It is focused towards adopting friendly tourism policies and formulating programs that can ensure the environment is improved for both domestic and international tourism.
Aspects of International Tourism are Revealed in the Article
In the context of the Asia Pacific Region, the Travelbizness article denotes that tourism has not been so encouraging regarding revenue and tourism arrivals according to the article. In Nepal, tourism contributes up to 3.42% accounting for about 24% of the country’s total foreign exchange earnings. In the world tourism industry, Nepal shares around 0.4% though it is the lowest earning per capita in the Southern Asia. According to the article, Nepal is the home of the eight highest mountains in the world including Mount Everest that is a popular global centre of adventure. The same study denotes that Nepal has enormous international and domestic tourism opportunities for development and expansion as one if its mainstay in the Industry in the Asia Pacific. For instance, Roy and Kumar (2015) denote that the unique terrain in the region including the global highest mountains offers opportunities for activities such as jungle safaris, rafting, trekking, and mountaineering among others.
Most of the international tourists visit Nepal for pilgrimage, mountaineering, bird-watching, business, and other leisure reasons. Nepal is also enlisted as one of the major global tourist destination in the recent years within the international media as pointed out by King (2015). However, the article denotes that the figures of the tourism arrivals are not significant as it should be compared to other destinations in the Southeast Asia. The reasons are attributed to negative publicity as a result of a whole decade of violence, conflicts, deterioration in law and order in the region, adverse advisories in travelling, long Maoist insurgency, insecurity, and political instability among other social issues. For instance, the armed conflict in Nepal has led to the decline in the number of tourists arriving in the country. However, Chubchuwong and Speece (2016) denote a positive progress in the tourism industry that is slowly coming back to normal after the signing of a peace treaty between the Nepal government and the Maoist Nepal Communist party. At present, the development and progression of tourism in Nepal has now a common agenda for all the political parties who have a commitment to establishing a new Nepal.
While more airlines are channeled to Nepal, the capacity of Tribhuvan International Airport needs to be enhanced so as to cater for the need of tourism in the region and improve its image in the eyes of travelers. The article denotes that the airport facilities are horribly poor and tourists are faced with harassment from brokers, porters, drivers, and hawkers. In his study, Castro (2017) denotes that the poor infrastructure is as a result of poor government initiatives to improve the infrastructure of the country. Instability of the terrain due to earthquakes has also affected the tourism sector a great deal. Iordanova (2015) also denotes that despite the challenges facing the tourism industry in the region, there are several regional initiatives such as the Southern Asia Development Agenda that are encouraging destinations centers such as Nepal to focus on strategies improve the infrastructure of the region. New developments within the airlines in the international industry as a result of technological innovations have also been adopted in Nepal, a step that has seen the tourism industry in the country note a positive response towards the number of tourists visiting the region.
According to the article, initiatives such as promotional campaigns through different technological, social platforms have been essential in rejuvenating the tourism sectors not only in Nepal but even in other areas within the Asian Pacific like China. The success of such strategies is, however, dependent on the solutions to problems such as air accessibility, security, diversification in products, infrastructural development, the government commitment, and a visionary collective effort of tourism agencies in the region (Tirado 2011, p. 56). With advancement in technology, new strategies and commitments for promotion and marketing can be adopted as a collective effort of public and private sector stakeholders of tourism (Smith 2017, p. 34). According to Truong-Minh (2017), Nepal is a multicultural, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic country that is inhabited with a diversity of 102 ethnic communities and 92 languages. As a result, a focus on developmental strategies aimed at increasing the quality of international tourism will lead to a transformation in the life of people in the region (Beeton 2014, p. 67). In the case of more investments in diversifying tourism sector in Nepal as well as well as other neighbouring countries, a high forex trade earning and employment generation will be achieved that will greatly help in alleviating poverty and reducing several cases of insecurity that is currently affecting the region.
Tourism is one of the major international industries that is driving the economy of many countries globally. However, the industry is faced with different challenges from aspects such as insecurity, terrorism, infrastructural development, federal policies, and political instabilities among other aspects. International and domestic tourism is hence a vital sector for intensive development as it is a composite of all services, activities, and industries that ensure success in the travel experience such as transportation, hospitality, entertainment, and trade. It is hence a sum of the relationships and phenomena arising from the interaction of communities, host government, and business in the process of hosting the visitors.
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