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Asian Development Bank loan to South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development

I am very happy to learn about this new sustainable tourism project, which aims to improve heritage tourism in Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

Below text is quoted from the project description ‘Proposed Loans, Asian Development Fund Grant, and Administration of Loan People’s Republic of Bangladesh, India, and Nepal: South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project’, October 2009.


Borrower and Recipient
The borrowers of the loans will be Nepal, India, and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Nepal will be the grant recipient.

Targeting classification: General intervention
Sector(subsectors): Multisector (water supply and sanitation, waste management, air transport, and road transport)
Themes (subthemes): Economic growth (widening access to markets and economic opportunities), regional cooperation and integration (other regional public goods), environmental sustainability (urban environmental improvement), capacity development (institutional development)
Location impact: National (high impact), regional (medium impact)
Partnerships: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development; and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Project Description
The Project will develop and improve tourism-related infrastructure in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. It will focus on improving connectivity to and destination infrastructure and services in key nature and culturebased tourism sites on selected high-priority subregional circuits.
Infrastructure interventions will include airport upgrading, last mile road connectivity, environmental improvements of destinations, such as water supply, sanitation, and solid waste management; and visitor management infrastructure and services. The physical interventions will be accompanied with a program of capacity building in each country to develop the capacities of sector agencies for sustainable protection and management of natural and cultural heritage of tourism importance. Moreover, the Project will implement a program in each country to better engage local communities in tourism to enhance the conomic linkages between local populations and tourism, and increase benefits from tourism to the subregion’s communities.

South Asia, particularly the area which contains Nepal, north and northeastern states of India, and Bangladesh (the subregion), is one of the poor regions of the world. However, the subregion has vast and diverse cultural and natural resources and contains many of the world’s major Buddhist sites, which potentially position it as a world destination for nature and culture-based tourism. Tourism plays a vital role in the subregion’s economy. During 1999 to 2006, international tourist arrivals grew at an average rate of 8%, higher than the world average. In 2007, tourism earnings from international visitors totaled $12.3 billion, representing a 150% increase from 2003; and tourism directly employed 13.76 million people in the three countries (including all of India). Tourism in the subregion, however, remains constrained by (i) inadequate connectivity and destination infrastructure; (ii) weak protection and management of heritage assets of tourism importance, which threaten the environmental and cultural sustainability; and (iii) inadequate community engagement. Together these limit the growth prospect and ability of tourism to significantly contribute to the economy and poverty reduction. The Project is required to address the infrastructure and management deficiencies, and foster community participation in nature and culture-based tourism by supporting integrated development of priority destinations in high-potential circuits of subregional importance.

Impact and Outcome
The Project will promote sustainable and inclusive growth in South Asia through tourism infrastructure development that will tap the economic potential of contiguous and complementary tourism assets of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. The impact will be reflected as an increase in the contribution of tourism to the subregion’s economy and employment opportunities, including local livelihoods. The Project outcome will be several key tourism circuits (of subregional importance) of nature and culture-based destinations with (i) enhanced connectivity, (ii) better quality environment and visitor services, (iii) improved natural and cultural heritage and capacities for heritage management, and (iv) greater community engagement in heritage management and tourism benefits.

Project Investment Plan
The investment cost of the Project is estimated at $89.5 million, including taxes and duties of $7.35 million. The project cost for the Nepal component is $46.5 million; for the India component $28.0 million; and for the Bangladesh component $15.0 million.

Period of Utilization From 16 November 2009 to 15 March 2015
Estimated Project Completion Date 15 September 2014
Executing Agencies Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal; Department of Tourism, Sikkim State, India; and Department of Archaeology, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Bangladesh.

This article is quoted from Asian Development Bank . Download the entire project description.

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Bangladesh, Cooperation and network, Development, Education and qualification, India, Nepal, Performance and management, Policy, Sustainability.

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