Tourism Rights: Based on Economic Prosperity in Nepal

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Ghanendra Shrestha photo
Ghanendra Shrestha

Ghanendra Shrestha

Ensuring the freedom of travelling from one place to another, which is also one of the rights to human beings, is called tourism. The way of generating economy by providing services, facilities and hospitality is called tourism business. Even before the human civilization, people used to migrate from one place to another for survival. The possibilities and development of tourism also started along with the modernization of people travelling in search of food and shelter. The Nepalese culture is also based on the principle of “Athiti Devo Bhawa” and it was not very long ago that we let guests spend the night at our homes. The fact is that we still provide hospitality and make our guests feel homely shows that the tradition still exists in our society. However, tourism as a means of economic generation is in fact a very new concept in Nepal, especially because we grew up in a society where guests were compared to “Gods” and taking money from them was a sin. But if only we could use tourism as a means of prosperity of economy, it would be a huge contribution to the transformation of the society.

        Human life isn’t free as it used to be in the past. In today’s world, people are bounded by their own set of rules, morality and work ethics because of which they have to think about time, economic stability and accessibility before going from one place to another. That is why it has been very important that the laws of state govern the rights relating to tourism. The Constitution of Nepal has first highlighted tourism retention and has encouraged tourists to visit from one place to another. In article 51 sub-article (L) under state policies of Constitution of Nepal 2072, it is mentioned that “Developing environment friendly tourism industry as an important basis of national economy by identifying, protecting, promoting and publicizing the historical, cultural, religious, archaeological and natural heritage sites of the country, and prioritizing local people in the distribution of benefits of the tourism industry.”[1] It is indeed a historic provision which has encouraged the tourism industrialists in Nepal.

        Tourism can be understood as an instrument for providing services to the visitors. That is why it is also important to create a suitable environment to attract tourists along with promoting the tourism industry. It is also important that a country provide its citizens an easy environment to travel from one place to another as tourists. In a country like Nepal where there is the tendency to make decisions in lethargy and violence rather than actually focusing on how the development policy takes place, the truth that the policy makers themselves get engaged in short-term futile development planning can be seen as a huge obstacle in the sustainable and long-term development of tourism industry.  However, as a role of a welfare state, the state needs make a special arrangement for its citizens to enjoy the essence of tourism.

        If we study our historical documents, we can see that the people used to travel to different places for pilgrimage which in present, can be termed as tourism. Article 24 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 has guaranteed rights to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.[2] Since this declaration is considered as main source of human rights worldwide, every country should develop the capacity of its citizens to travel as tourists. Similarly, ICESCR 1966 has also adopted the provision that a person should be given rights to rest, holidays and leisure time as well as holidays with payment in public holidays[3]. That is why it is necessary for the state to arrange salaries to the national servants, and also the workers working in private sector should be arranged for this arrangement. In the same way, arrangements should be made to show expenses on the basis of audit on showing the credential evidence that the entrepreneurs should spend in internal tourism. Only then we can develop and prosper the tourism in Nepal

        Nepal’s tourism policy 2065 has given more importance to the village tourism and sustainable tourism has been know to be an important part. As a result, keeping in mind about domestic and foreign tourists, the ministry of cultural, tourism and municipal aviation has given the permission of homestay and this has gained a wide popularity but it has not given much attention to the disorders and problems that could arise out of it. If we look into the tourism dynamics in Nepal, most of the tourism activities are mostly village-based surroundings. Tourists spent in homestays and laws while going on trekking and hike, however, there is no legit calculations and records about how much they spend in those time intervals. Because of this, we don’t exactly know how much contribution tourism has given to the nation. Only 4% of the contribution can be found in the country through tourism but the real number still goes unnoticed. That is why the concerned ministry should time and again conduct research about the contribution made by tourism and should make them public.

        The constitution of Nepal has guaranteed all the Nepalese citizens the freedom of occupation and business. However, because of the existing cultural dissimilarities and conventional discrimination there is no opportunity to the people who wants to come in the tourism industry and even the country itself has not taken any uplifting initiative. In the section 3 of charter of World Tourism Organization 1980, it has mentioned that “The fundamental aim of the Organization shall be the promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity, and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.” [4] in this way, even though the freedom of occupation has been granted by national and international laws, the fact that people are not getting to enjoy the freedom still persists in our society. If we look into the trends in our society, there isn’t a single record of Dalits opening a restaurant or even a small tea shop because it is said that if Dalits are to open a shop, it is sure that no tourists will come. Hence, they should be given special trainings and awareness to be engaged in tourism industry of Nepal. Moreover, because of the cultural practices such as chhaupadi has also abandoned a group of women from tourism industry. Similarly, homestay can be a very good thing in tourism but the problems relating to discrimination on the basis of castes can make it more difficult to conduct business. In one hand, we are working towards economic prosperity of an individual and nation through tourism and in the other hand we are not trying to find out the solution of those who are deprived of opportunity to engage in tourism industry. Hence, before working towards development and prosperity of tourism, we should find out the potential places and give required trainings and awareness. And only then the industry should be given permission.

        If we want to uplift the economic contribution through tourism in Nepal, rights of tourism should be established in the country. Qualitative as well as responsible awareness should be developed. If the products and food the tourists use in their visit to the villages are exported from the city then the locals cannot take any profit from it. Unless and until the locals cannot take any profit from it, there is no any use of development of tourism. Tourism that can create a career employment can also be created from small investment and it is an instrument to bring economic prosperity of the citizen of Nepal so it is essential for every member of the state to pay attention. Therefore, the state should established a right of tourism to each and every people lives in Nepal and try to make contribution to provide funds to travel one place to another of Nepalese domestic destination for making prosperous Nepal.

[1] Constitution of Nepal, 2072, Article 51 sub Article( L)
[2] Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Article 24, “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.”
[3] ICESCR 1966
[4] World Tourism Organization 1980,

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