Tourism in 2030

Travel and tourism has become a universal activity in contemporary society. The volume, pattern, style and motivations of travel and tourism has evolved greatly and is changing dynamically with the number of international tourists’ crossing the billion mark in the year 2012. The United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates suggest that the number will reach 1.8 billion by the year 2030.

The trend in realization of tourism is seen in the synchronization of pull and push efforts of players engaged in the following three areas:

  • Changing features of the market composed of customers’ desire, needs and wishes as tourist with socio economic evolution.
  • Innovation, creativeness, and capacity enhancement among the service suppliers as industry players in the destination.
  • Development of efficient, reliable and affordable means of connectivity as transport and communication infrastructures.

The pattern of generating market is seen to be shifting to Asia from the Western world. High growth in volume can be expected in the coming decade due to the economic prosperity of the Asian countries dominated by China and India. However, by 2030, this market will be seeking more comfort and facilities and will not prefer to venture into the unbeaten path. Similarly, adventure products will have to be softened with good internet and wireless connections and personalized services as the affluence effect among Asian countries is getting stronger.

The holiday leisure segment comprises of 50% of Nepal’s tourism sector at present. Unless the country substantially improves the quality of services and infrastructure and enhances perceptions on safety and security, it will not be possible to achieve substantial growth. However, given the historical growth rate of low-end visitors from booming markets supported by pilgrimage, this can be expected to grow in the coming decade. Nepal’s niche motivation of nature based adventure can be expected to remain stable with 5-7% average annual growth from conventional traditional market of West Europe, North America, Japan and Australia.

However, Nepal’s tourism will be greatly dependent on the operation of the second international airport which can substantially change the intensity and dimension; as 75% of arrivals to Nepal is dependent on air connectivity. In the next decade, the travel industry may be more comfortable in internal tourism due to lower risk and higher return and growing domestic prosperity. Tourism industry will have to diversify from the international to domestic segment of clients.

Considering the capacity building of state enterprise and industry enterprise in relation to developing, improving, reforming and enhancing infrastructures, service delivery, novelty/innovation in products and marketing, Nepali tourism industry may have to be satisfied with below the regional average growth rate by the year 2030.

Prachanda Man Shrestha
Former CEO, Nepal Tourism Board
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