Domestic or internal tourism can bring various changes in country. For instance, India relies on internal tourism by 70% so as China. Therefore, we should also give emphasis on internal tourism for sustainable tourism development in Nepal. Nepal is rich in natural and cultural heritage where more than 80% people line in the rural areas. More villages have various tourism resources, unique nature of ethnicity, cultures having different festivals, traditions, values, languages customs, etc. Unless we are capable to harness internal tourists as well as foreign tourists, we cannot transform overall socio-economic and cultural changes in our society. It is identified that the flow of domestic tourists in the villages like Sirubari, Ghalegaon, Pashgoan, Bandipur and Ghandruk and so on, in the last few years, have proved that we can go forward enhancing internal tourism using local products and skills and uplifting living standard of rural people.
Prospect of Internal Tourism
In the past, people used to travel from one place to another for pilgrimage or for economic and social ties. However, at modern age due to the raise of middle class in the urban communities of Nepal they are excited to visit various villages those which have unique culture and beautiful nature. For internal tourists development, of course, the own homeland is certainly the easiest and affordable tourist destination for Nepalese. Easiest in the sense that Nepali language is widely spoken throughout the country but cultures are different in many societies. If we go there the tourist arrival statistics in model tourist villages, we find majority of visitors are Nepali national. For instance, within eight years? time 7,198 tourists visited Sirbubari village. Out of this figure 5858 visitors are internal tourists. The above figures indicate that only 1340 foreign visitors have visited Sirubari till the date. Therefore, it reveals that almost 81% visitors are internal tourists. Similar type of internal tourist flow is observed in Ghalegoan and other remaining model villages. Each and every villages of Nepal can be valuable tourist?s destinations and can attract enormous internal tourists. By promoting internal tourism the rural people can be utilize local resources, products, human resources, share ideas and examples and cultures with others. Such activities help them to generate employment opportunities and bring changes in their living standard. In Sirubari and Ghalegaon one can observe sensual changes in the lives of local people within few years time. It could be impossible for more than fifty years of such changes.
Though, internal tourism is potential in Nepal but it has several constraints to overcome. At first, the requirement of basic infrastructure are the key factors to develop to enhance domestic tourism i.e. access of roads, trail, accommodations, communication facilities, health resources, security and sanitation etc. Secondly, to develop domestic tourism, Nepal government has to introduce new Holiday Pay Act (HPA) to all the government employs every year. Such kind of holiday pay act can play prominent role to enhance internal tourism from micro, meso to macro level development throughout the kingdom. Accordingly to A.K. Bhatia, the movement of mass tourism was launched from the west especially from England, when the holidays with pay act (1938) were signed. Holiday Pay Act must be the prime issue of consideration for all the tourism experts and concerned authorities. Besides, Nepal government, tourism related institutions and organizations like NTB NATTA, TAAN, HAN, NMA, NARA and tourism experts should focus to identify various tourist destinations of Nepal from Terai, hilly region areas and bring them into publicity. Majority of the cities and villages of Nepal possess uniqueness to each other in terms of natured and culture.
No doubt, Nepal has immense resources to promote tourism to lead for economic prosperity of the country. However, the country has been unable to identify the priority sectors and implement policies accordingly. But time has come to knock our doors to give emphasis on internal tourism. Tourism industry has suffered a lot for many years due to the political conflict. Of course, we must try to increase the arrival of foreign tourist?s at large level within our country to explore our hiding treasures internal tourism. Along that we can promote introducing Holiday Pay Act. It can be a new attempt for making new Nepal. Besides, agriculture and water resources, tourism in one of the crucial and potential sectors, which can be lead to the country for socio-economic and cultural prosperity.