Tourism is a vital component of the economy of Nepal. With its iconic attractions, strategic location and good connectivity; Nepal is ideal for a characteristic short-holiday from regional markets. In addition, adventure tourism (including trekking) is growing rapidly, across both traditional and new source markets, creating good income generating opportunities for the poor in rural Nepal.

However, the sector is constrained by low productivity, poor destination management, untapped opportunities, and a difficult regulatory environment for high value services and innovative products. As a result, Nepal’s tourism industry is trapped in an unsustainable high-volume, low-value model, limiting beneficial participation by the poor as entrepreneurs and employees.

Samarth-NMDP aims to address these constraints by developing innovative visitor products; improving marketing efforts; and supporting destination area management to improve the economic opportunities through tourism in rural Nepal.

Current Interventions

1. Destination Area Management

2. Product and Infrastructure improvement

3. Industry Standards Improvement

4. Industry Linkage Creation

5. Revenue Stream Enhancement

6. Strategic Marketing Efforts

7. Industry Knowledge and Capacity Enhancement

Related Resources

January 19, 2018

17 January 2018, Gorkha – Two cantilever pathways were formally handed over to local government representatives of Dharche and Tsum Numbri municipalities of northern Gorkha at a handover programme organised at the district coordination council office today by Samarth-Nepal Market Development Programme. The cantilever pathways not only provide safe access to the locals living in northern Gorkha, but has also enhanced two of Nepal’s popular trekking trails Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley Trail.

March 08, 2017

Nepal’s potential in the tourism sector, particularly in trekking, has been hampered by a lack of product development and consistency in quality standards. This sector brief explores the unveiling of Nepal’s first Trail Standards Guidelines and the certification of eleven new internationally recognised trail auditors in Nepal. The purpose of this intervention will be to define quality standards for the GHT brand leading to a better product - improved experience, safety and sustainability on trekking trails. 

December 02, 2016
In line with Samarth – NMDP program's aims to improve the underlying pro-poor performance of tourism in Nepal and usher in systemic changes to how the industry operates, the creation of a framework was needed to bring improvement in the standards (product and service delivery) and market performance of enterprises through certification of core tourism ventures, which will ultimately result in the increase of income for rural tourism workers and entrepreneurs.
August 11, 2016

The Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge is a yearly event started by Social Tours in 2011. Starting with just 35 riders who rode a 50km trail around Kathmandu and raised Rs. 0.45 million for charity, it has now grown to a massive 3000 rider event that has raised over Rs 5 million in its five years of running. In an effort to promote this event and to establish the standards that Great Himalaya Trails (GHT) adheres to, this year Samarth-NMDP supported the event with a promotional video and in making the cycling routes informative and standardized with signage boards along the trails.

July 07, 2016

An eight-day adventure travel guide training programme, the first of its kind in Nepal, was organized by Samarth-NMDP in co-ordination with Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Wilderness Medical Associates International starting 13th June, 2016 to 20th June, 2016.