Nepal’s Minister of Culture and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai, met Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Thursday and discussed ways to encourage tourism in both countries, including increased flights to remote locations and the revival of historically significant tourism routes.
Kwatra, who was named an Indian envoy to Nepal earlier this year, met with Minister Bhattarai at the Tourist Office here on Friday. Bhattarai told Kwatra that increased air connectivity would improve tourism in both countries.
Nepal had previously sent a letter to the Indian authorities concerning new air gateways to Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, and Mahendranagar. The resumption of flights between Kathmandu and Indian cities – currently under suspension due to the outbreak of COVID-19 – was also addressed at the meeting on Friday.
Both sides argued that the ‘Ramayana Circuit’ idea must be introduced as soon as possible, as part of which travel itineraries would cover historically important religious sites in India and Nepal. Pashupatinath, Lumbini, and Janakpur are religious tourism destinations that do not fall under the Ramayana Circuit, said Bhattarai, who also heads the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal.
Ambassador Kwatra told the Minister that the Government of India is looking forward to the creation of religious sites in Nepal and has pledged assistance to revive the tourism sector in the country affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Sources said that the meeting ended on a good note, but no final decision was made.