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Socio-economic Impacts of Tourism in Lumbini, Nepal: A Case Study Pradeep Acharya∗

1.

Introduction

Tourism is a very familiar affair in human life. It has been an industry of vast dimensions and ultimately supports economic growth and social development. In order to promote tourism in Nepal, the ninth five year plan has made a 20 year long strategic programme. The main objective of this programme is to develop Nepalese tourism up to the desirable standard. As far as the 20 years long-term tourism policy is concerned, our government has decided to increase the arrival of tourists in average 12, 47,830 every year. And expected income of foreign currency to be 1663.6 million dollar every year. And the average staying of the tourists extended up to 15 days (Nepal Tourism Board, 2000). The Ninth five-year plan says the government is serious about the uplifting of Nepalese tourism, which needs great care and protection. "For the constant development of the Nepalese tourism, it has been commonly decided to give equal priority to some other factors, which do also affect the tourism sector directly. Such as development and expansion of tourism sites, necessary infrastructure for tourism, promotion of tourism market, improvement in civil aviation, protection of environment and involvement of private sector in the promotion of Nepalese tourism, etc" (The People’s Review 2001). Hence long term vision is to promote village tourism for poverty alleviation including ecotourism and domestic tourism. Recent development on tourism is highly concentrated on development of trained human resources which is based on quality of services provided to tourists. But many areas of the country are still deprived of basic tourism facilities. Lumbini is one of the major tourist destinations of Nepal, where different development activities have been going on from different sides. A Master Plan for the Development of Lumbini, including numerous engineering and archaeological studies was completed in 1978, by an architect Kenzo Tange that has its objective to restore an area of about 7.7 square kilometers, to be known as the Lumbini Garden. But the desired targets are yet to be achieved. It is to be noted that meeting of World Conservation Society held during 1- 6 December 1997 has included Lumbini as one of the World Heritage Site. It is only one cultural site we have other than the natural Everest. Need to promote tourism is very important for our country both from economic and cultural concern. So we are to develop resources i.e. destination promotion to attract visitors which will give us money as well as recognition to the world. In this regard government of Nepal has been carrying out Tourism for Rural Poverty Alleviation Programme around Lumbini. The main objective of the study was to collect information about existing state of tourism in Lumbini not with any specified hypothesis and theoretical framework. I investigated the extent and impacts of tourism among the people of Lumbini ideal village development committee of Rupandehi district, Nepal during the year 2001 AD. An attempt has been made to demonstrate what people actual feel about the incidence of tourism and its socio-cultural impacts. Effort has been provided to see whether the tourism is helpful in generating employment and increased income. An analysis of four data sets (the household survey of 123 samples out of the finite universe of 1234 households, interview of 25 conveniently met tourists, total 12 hotel owners/staffs, 3 key informants deliberately selected and vdc office provided information) as well ∗

Mr. Pradeep Acharya is a Teaching Assistant (Anthropology) at the Baglung, Nepal.

Mahendra Multiple Campus,

as non participant field observation shows significant numbers of impacts of tourism in the study area. The research results indicate that, in number of respects, tourism is favorable for the people.

2.

Tourism in the Wider Context

People believe that...
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