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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Nepal needs more connections to South Asia

Despite being a member of the Economic Council of South Asia, the Nepal lacks adequate air links with its neighbours. Sri Lanka is now a priority.

A few days ago, the main tourism actors of the Nepal asked the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Nepal to help revive an air link between Kathmandu and Colombo, considered a valuable link to promote the economic development and tourism of the Himalayan Republic.

"While there is a huge potential for religious tourism, in particular Buddhism, to the Nepal, direct flights on the route Kathmandu-Colombo would more sri Lankan pilgrims to the Nepal", explained Bhakta Bahadur Malla, president of the Chamber of Commerce and industry Nepal/Sri Lanka to the local newspaper Himalayan Times.

Links cultural forts between the two countries exist including because the two are indeed adept of Buddhism. The Buddhist Circuit in Lumpini where Buddha lived would be a very popular option for travelers coming in from Sri Lanka. The tourist contractor Bikram Pandey told the Himalayan Times "Lumpini is a holy place for Buddhists from around the world, should be encouraged as a destination Lighthouse for Buddhists in Sri Lanka."

He added that: "the campaign in the footsteps of the Buddha under the Buddhist Circuit would help promote tourism in the Nepal. «» A direct flight between Colombo and Kathmandu would help promote not only tourism, but also trade".

It seems that the two Governments, whether on the side of the Nepal and Sri Lanka are now agree to a rapid recovery of direct flights between Kathmandu and Colombo. It is likely that Sri Lankan is the first airline that will fly to Nepal due to its next integration into the Oneworld alliance. A connection to Kathmandu would certainly be an asset to strengthen the status of platform of Colombo for the alliance. From January to April, the Nepal has recorded only 564 tourists from Sri Lanka.

The total capacity of the seats to the Nepal were equivalent to 227 640 people in may 2013 (according to SRS analyze), a decrease of 1.8% compared with the same month in 2012. The Nepal is only connected to the India with flights to five cities (Bagdora, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Varanasi) as well as with Dhaka in Bangladesh. However, there is almost no link with Pakistan (Karachi only is served once a week out of Kathmandu). In South Asia, Kathmandu is also linked to Paro in Bhutan by the national airline Druk Air, as well as Lhasa in Tibet by Air China.

Tags: South Asia, Buddha, Buddhism, Colombo, Kathmandu, the Nepal Tourism, religious tourism, direct flights

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