Nepal launches Chinese language classes to boost tourism

KATHMANDU, July 21: Nepal and China have launched a programme to offer free training to up to 200 tourism entrepreneurs in Mandarin to attract more foreign visitors from China. Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong today inaugurated a new batch of tourism entrepreneurs who will be trained in the Chinese language in Kathmandu.

A group of 40 people, consisting of tour operators and tourism entrepreneurs, will be trained during the six-month programme. The classes being run at the initiative of the Chinese embassy will not only help to promote Chinese tourists in Nepal, but it will also strengthen people-to-people relations between Nepal and China, Yu said.

The classes will be provided at free of cost. More than one billion Chinese tourists visited foreign countries between 2013-2016 and Nepal can tap the opportunity by training its tour operators in Chinese language, she said.

Nepal could generate USD 22 billion every year if the country can attract one million Chinese tourists, she added. Nepal currently attracts 125,000 Chinese tourists annually and the number has been increasing steadily. Nepal is the third-largest country after India and Sri Lanka to receive Chinese tourists.

“We are aiming to train 200 tour operators and travel trade entrepreneurs in the Chinese language within the next five years, with the objective of promoting Chinese tourists into Nepal, said Maniraj Lamichhane, director at Nepal Tourism Board.