ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: In the Nepalese history of sustainable rural tourism development, TRPAP stands as an important pilot programme running over five years in selected rural areas of Nepal. The selection of the six pilot districts were mainly based on the basis of existing tourism development or its potential, and the extent to which significant elements of poverty and marginalized social groups were in need of support.
This programme apprehended a very strong social agenda, and aimed at getting multiple stakeholders to work together towards agreed common goals. At large, it has helped tourism development in the country and has also contributed to the government’s long-term goal of poverty alleviation.
Over the entire programme period, TRPAP’s activities were centered on demonstrating sustainable tourism development models; developing institutional mechanisms; and supporting government to review and formulate pro-poor sustainable tourism development policy and strategies with focus on environmental conservation.
Moreover, the programme has always been remained focused on towards the disadvantaged stratum of rural people who live below the poverty line. By developing linkages with the rural populace, the programme encouraged and involved local community in capacity enhancement, institutionalization and the decision making process, to help ensure benefits from tourism to reach to the rural poor.
At many instances, we observed many individuals, institutions and tourism stakeholders requesting for its continuity and expansion of its activities in other new areas. We hope the National Planning Commission as well as the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation will prioritized to replicate such sustainable tourism development activities in more new districts in days to come.
As a pilot programme, TRPAP was also equally responsible to develop case study, models of best practice, that can be replicated in other parts of Nepal initially, and later on by others globally. We hope, the compilation of best practices as “Nepal’s Experience Implementing Sustainable Tourism Development Models” developed as lessons learned will help many to develop new tourism products, promote and market them and establish marketing networks.
Finally, I would like to take an opportunity to sincerely appreciate and thank Government of Nepal, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, National Planning Commission, UNDP, DFID and SNV Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, TAAN, NATTA, DDCs, VDCs and local communities for their consistent support provided throughout the programme period. Likewise, I would also like to thank all our valued partners, Govt. institutions, tourism stakeholders e.g. KATH, NATHM, NGOs, INGOs, Institutions, Business organizations, individuals, all media sector and my TRPAP colleagues for their extraordinary demonstration and endurance to bring this programme into this stage.
Rabi Jung Pandey
National Programme Manager
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