Newly appointed Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai, on a site visit of the ‘under-construction’ Gautam Buddha International Airport has said ‘all works will be completed by December’. Assuring all stakeholders, he said ‘ the government has kept the construction of the airport under top-priority.
Completion, and the subsequent operation of the airport is crucial for the success of Visit Nepal 2020 – an ambitious government project to welcome 2 million tourists into Nepal within 2020. In an event the airport does not open on time, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) , Nepal’s sole international airport will be unable to handle 2 million passengers. The need for a second international airport is paramount for the success of the tourism campaign.
Engineers, contractors working in the project said the airport will be completed by December, provided there are no shortages of raw materials. The Minister then directed the local government to ensure such situations do not arise. Tourism Minister also expressed the government’s commitment to develop Lumbini as a tourist destination with a special emphasis on religious tourism from Buddhism majority countries.