The Embassy of Nepal, Brussels officially launched the ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ amidst a special function organised on 7th January 2020 at the Sofitel Hotel in Brussels.
The programme was well attended by a significant number of European Members of Parliament, Belgian government officials, high officials of the European Commission, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, investors and businesspersons, academics and scholars, media persons, photographers, travel writers, representatives from different airlines, young volunteers, travel and tour operators, members of the Belgium Nepal Friendship Society, NRN ICC members, Chairs and office bearers of NRNAs, chairs and representatives of community organisations in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg among others.
Making his welcoming remarks, Ambassador Lok Bahadur Thapa mentioned about huge tourism potential of Nepal and a range of products and services that Nepal caters to tourists as a cherished destination for all seasons for all people irrespective of their backgrounds, gender, age and interests.
Highlighting the importance of the Visit Nepal Year 2020, he said that VNY 2020 is also about creating a new and positive narrative on Nepal; a narrative that Nepal is stable, Nepal is peaceful, Nepal is emerging politically and economically, Nepal has potentials, and Nepal has its immense natural and cultural resources.
He said “VNY 2020 is our commitment to give you a ‘Lifetime Experience’ while in Nepal and a ‘lifetime memory’ while you return from Nepal” and urged them to make a visit to Nepal in 2020 and enjoy amazing natural beauty, geographical landscapes, cultures, spiritualism, adventures, sports, wildlife and nature conservation.
Ambassador Thapa also emphasised the need to remove the ban on the Nepali air operators from EU’s air safety list in order to link Kathmandu with major cities of Europe and increase European tourists visiting Nepal.
Addressing the function, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Mr. Jean-Christophe Belliard stated that Nepal has political stability and sound economic growth creating conducive conditions for the promotion of tourism. He appreciated motto ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ and highlighted the importance of tourism sector to this end. Mentioning climate change as the most important issue in the European Union, he appreciated the role Nepal is playing in combating climate change and appreciated the initiation of the Sagarmatha dialogue focusing this time on climate change. In addition to geographical, cultural, spiritual and adventurous features, Nepal can boast of special feature i.e. the dignity and resilience of the people manifested so strongly during the earthquake in 2015, he noted. He added that Nepal has the tremendous potential for attracting more than 2 million tourists and wished success of the Visit Nepal 2020.
The Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia, Honourable Baroness Nosheena Mobarik said that being a hiker, she is definitely planning to go and visit Nepal. She emphasized upon the need for people coming together, and actually being inspired by each other, valuing each others’ cultures and enjoying life as a human being. She also depicted Nepal not only as a beautiful country but also as the land of gallant warrior, Gurkha. She expressed her confidence that VNY 2020 will be a success.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Lieven Dehandschutter, Mayor of the city of Sint-Niklaas appreciated the Nepal diaspora in Belgium for their hard work and entrepreneurship. He expressed the hope that beauty of Nepal’s geographical landscape including the Himalayas as well as diverse and proud Nepali cultures can attract a lot of people from Belgium. He informed that he is also planning to visit Nepal.
Journalist Ms. Charlotte Rabin shared her memory of her recent visit to Nepal. She mentioned that the slogan of the Visit Nepal 2020 i.e. lifetime experiences befits the breath-taking landscapes to cultural heritage, traditional delicious cuisine to the optimism, kindness and hospitality of the Nepali people.
During the programme, videos on Nepal’s scenic beauty and a range of tourism products and services were played. Nepali artists from Euro Nepal Artists Association (ENAA) presented their performances at the stage entertaining the guests with Nepal’s folk dance and music. Nepalese cuisines were served for the guest. Also, as a part of the event, a photo exhibition was held in the lobby of the hotel.
Embassy of Nepal
8 January 2020