Read the original story in Nepali at Everest Times

Translated by Anuz Thapa

Tourists from all over the world visit Nepal for its abundance of natural beauty. And next year, Nepal’s government is trying to maximize that number, launching a “Visit Nepal 2020” campaign that aims to draw at least 2 million tourists to the country.

Though the Nepali government has been criticized for not providing adequate facilities for tourists during their visits, the 2020 promotion is already in full swing. The Consulate General of Nepal in New York organized a press conference this month in Sherpa Kyidug—a cultural center in Jackson Heights, Queens—to share their plans for the tourism year.

The Consul General of Nepal in New York, Pushpa Raj Bhattarai, says the office has already begun the publicity campaign, organizing a small cultural event in Times Square in September. They also plan to be one of the exhibitors at The New York Times Travel Show at Manhattan’s Javits Center in January.

“We have proposed … various programs to make the ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ a grand success,” said Bhattarai, adding that they plan to run ads promoting Nepal in Times Square as well as on buses running in Manhattan.

The office is also organizing an event in May to promote cultural and religious tourism to the country.

“There are many places in Nepal where both Hindus and Buddhists come together to worship, so we will be inviting gurus of both religions to attend the event,” Bhattarai said.

Soman Lama, vice president of the Non-Resident Nepali Association, a group that works with the Nepali diaspora and has representatives in more than 75 countries, said his organization is eager to aid the tourism campaign.

“Nepal government should also be focusing [on] attracting non-resident Nepalese to their home country,” Lama said.

More than 940,000 tourists visited Nepal in 2017, according to government statistics. The U.S. ranked third among nations with the most visitors to the country that year, behind India and China.