NepalNOW Campaign – Nepal’s tourism recovery efforts
The earthquakes that took place in the spring of 2015 in Nepal led to enormous devastation and took more than 8,000 lives. This led to a decrease of the tourism sector since people had the idea that Nepal was no longer a safe destination. In order to reverse this idea the Nepal Tourism Board and Nepali tour operators set up NepalNOW.org as a website and social media campaign with support of CBI.
Tourism equals jobs
The tourism sector in Nepal is vital for its economic recovery, with a direct contribution of 5% to the Nepal domestic income and with every two to three foreign tourists generating one additional workplace. To attract more positive attention to Nepal as a tourist destination, CBI assisted the Nepal Tourism Board with capacity building for their (digital) marketing expertise by giving several training programmes and providing expert advice. The aim was to facilitate the necessary tools so the Nepal Tourism Board could independently manage and update the campaign website and their own destination website. This project is part of the Sustainable Tourism Development Asia project of CBI which aims at supporting selected tour operators in six Asian countries to create more sustainable business.
The first result of the CBI assistance to the Nepal Tourism Board is the NepalNOW campaign website. The goal of this website was to provide facts and figures and real stories from tourists that would give an insight on Nepal and convince the tourists to visit Nepal again. Since the launch of the campaign in September 2015, more than 1,500 travel stories about Nepal were shared. In March 2016, the NepalNOW website received about 15,000 views. The website continues to exist as a place where bloggers can share their Nepalese adventures. The successful Facebook page of NepalNOW, where a lot of pictures are shared, went up from scratch to 11,300 end of February 2017.
Welcome to Nepal
As a follow-up to the campaign website, CBI assisted the Nepal Tourism Board to set up the WelcomeNepal website as a permanent source of information about Nepal. Information like what places to visit, trekking routes and how to plan your trip to Nepal. Since the launch of the new website in April 2016 it has received almost 900,000 page views. People mainly visit the page about visa rules and the ‘before you come’ page, which shows an interest in visiting Nepal.
Nepal Tourism Board
Another successful and important result of this programme was the organisational change the Nepal Tourism Board went through. Working in smaller groups and being able to create and work on their website themselves was an important component of the success. The programme also led to side effects such as the improvement of the relationship between the private sector and the Nepal Tourism Board.
CBI is very happy to see the results the Nepal Tourism Board has obtained in their digital marketing and putting Nepal back on the world tourism map. Tourist numbers have increased again in 2016 with 25% and are expected to reach the same level as before the earthquake next year. CBI will continue to support the Nepal Tourist Council with their digital marketing to further capitalise on the success of the NepalNow campaign where tourists can share their Nepal adventures.