Promoting SASEC as a Tourist Destination
10 January 2019
The promotion of SASEC as a tourist destination is a flagship initiative identified in the SASEC Vision document, launched in April 2017. The tourism sector in the SASEC subregion has registered significant growth of about 8.4% from 2010-2015, with contribution to GDP ranging from 5% to 24%. The wealth and diversity of the subregion’s historical and cultural heritage, natural resources and other tourism assets, offer a huge potential for further developing the tourism sector through regional cooperation. Apart from annual increases of about 12 million tourists per year in SASEC, intra-SASEC tourist flow has also increased in recent years.
In line with this, the Asian Development Bank initiated a study on promoting SASEC as a tourist destination. The study aims to design a framework for SASEC cooperation in tourism to fully harness this sector's immense potential and to lay down the groundwork for such cooperation.
A country consultation was held in Nepal on 7-10 January 2019. A consultation with stakeholders in India was also held on 6 December 2018 in Delhi, in coordination with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The Meetings explored
- Potential of cooperation in tourism;
- Mutually beneficial strategic initiatives, such as identification of products and circuits that can be the basis for cooperation;
- Possibilities of joint marketing;
- Proper mechanism for coordination in action; and
- Putting in place institutional arrangements to ensure the sustainability of cooperation.
Participants in the consultations included relevant stakeholders in the Government, tourism associations and bodies, and private sector.