- Narayan Dhungana
Bangladeshi citizens are found eager to visit Nepal due to its historical, cultural and religious importance. The birthplace of Lord Buddha and the highest peak of the world, Mt Everest, among other heritages lure the Bangladeshi citizens as they do tourists from across the world.
A Bangladeshi who has visited Nepal once wants to visit again. A youth leader Bipyadipya Basu, who visited Nepal five times, wants to revisit Nepal. He told RSS that he was willing to visit Pokhara as he visited central capital Kathmandu and eastern city Biratnagar in his previous visits.
He shared that a 35-member team is visiting Nepal next month in Nepal-Bangladesh Youth Conference. President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Mohammad Abdul Hamid recently visited Nepal as part of his four-day official goodwill visit. At the invitation of President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid paid a visit to Nepal from November 12 to 15.
He visited Pokhara and the historical, archaeological and cultural sites of Kathmandu Valley. The visit enhanced bilateral ties between the two countries. With the beginning of New Year 2020, Nepal has launched the Visit Nepal Year 2020 mega campaign to attract more tourists to Nepal.
Nepal is expecting to bring two million visitors in the visit year, and for the purpose, Bangladesh might be appropriate as it has 170 million populations. A Rajshahi University graduate Lima Shirina Akter is willing to visit Nepal.
The Bangladeshis like cultural diversity and natural beauty for which Nepal is famous for. Saima Komor Gunjan of Rajshahi city of Bangladesh said, “Nepalese are helpful and friendly. Nepal’s nature is very beautiful. So it is attracting me.” Students, entrepreneurs, journalists, and politicians, as well as others found at Dhaka and Green City, Rajshahi, shared their willingness to visit Nepal.
A journalist Ziaul Gani Salim is preparing to visit Nepal in a group next month. Salim said that he wants to visit Nepal as Nepal, the country of Mt Everest is very beautiful. He said that Nepal is a good neighboring country in Bangladesh and has a cordial relation. The border of Bangladesh is only 27 kilometers from the eastern border of Nepal. “There are many alternatives in Nepal for the visit. Natural beauty with mountain, hilly and Tarai areas is very attractive.
One can enjoy adventurous activities, added Salim. Visit of Bangladeshis is minimal even with a population of 170 million One can visit Nepal in two days traveling by bus from Dhaka of Bangladesh and only a few hours by air. There are 91 percent Muslims in Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh, their behaviors, and the food and geography of Bangladesh are almost similar to Nepal’s. Although the geographical area of Bangladesh and Nepal is almost equal, Bangladesh has around 170 million population. But the number of Bangladeshis visiting Nepal is very less.
According to the Department of Immigration, 25,849 Bangladeshi had visited Nepal in 2019 while the number was 25,330 in 2018. A total of 2,129 Bangladeshi nationals have visited Nepal in 28 days of the first month of 2020.
Nepali Ambassador to Bangladesh, Dr. Banshidhar Mishra, said that activities are underway to make 100,000 Bangladeshi nationals to visit Nepal after the government set a target to bring in 72,000 tourists in Visit Nepal Year 2020.
A serious question has been raised why the number of Bangladeshi nationals visiting Nepal is very less even after their wish? Lack of appropriate publicity about Nepal and physical infrastructures has been considered as the main challenge. Tourism expert Prachanda Man Pradhan said that though there are many basis to increase the number of tourists in Nepal, attention has not been paid in this regard (RSS).
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