Nepal showcases local cuisines to lure tourists

The event, initiated by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Hotel Association Nepal (Han) under a public-private-partnership (PPP) model, aims to regain the lost glory of Nepal’s diverse food culture. “This is an exemplary event under the PPP model. We should tell the world that Nepal has varieties of foods,” said Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of NTB.The food items include Kwati, Sisne Jhol, Phando, Jwano ko Jhol, Pancha Kwa, Chukur Khanda, Karesabari, Chukauni, Timure Aalu, Fulaura, Sekuwa, Sandheko, Tareko, Usineko, Pakku, Chhoyla, Momo, Chatanmari, Wo, Jogi Bhat, Dal Bhat, Dhindo, Himali, Yomari, Sikarni and Dahiphal, among others. These items have been selected from around 200 food categories collected from different Nepali communities.Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari said that the government would continue to support this kind of campaign. “Gastronomy tourism is a new product. Although it’s late, we have at least started the campaign to globalize our dishes.”According to Han, the selected food items have been tested and certified by the government’s Department of Food Technology and Quality Control.Senior tourism entrepreneur Karna Sakya said that they had started work to globalize Nepali foods seven months ago. “This campaign should have started a long time ago, but it didn’t,” he said. “We have lost our diverse dishes as we didn’t deem it necessary to promote them. But still, we can publicize gastronomy tourism.”
According to him, there are more than 1,000 Nepali restaurants across the world, and around 4,000 chefs working in different hotels and restaurants in different parts of the world. “But still, we have failed to promote our foods.”
The campaign is part of the NTB’s ongoing initiative to promote gastronomy tourism under the theme ‘Experience Nepal: Cuisine & Culture’.
The International Culinary Tourism Association states that food travellers spend around $1,200 per trip on average, with over one-third ($425) of their travel budget going towards food-related activities. Gastronomic tourism refers to trips made to destinations where the local food and beverages are the main motivating factors for travel.
Gastronomic or culinary tourism tends to be largely a domestic tourism activity, with consumers travelling to places to eat and drink local products.