The Nepal portion of SATIDP is a part of a regional project that will develop and improve tourism-related infrastructure in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. It focuses on improving connectivity to and destination infrastructure, and services in key nature and culture-based tourism sites on selected high-priority sub-regional tourism circuits in South Asia. Nepal portion of the Project aims to develop the “Footsteps of the Lord Buddha" circuit by focusing interventions on Lumbini. This will be reflected in an increase in the contribution of tourism to the country and sub region’s economy and employment opportunities.
Lumbini is a sacred place for Buddhists from all over the world, standing on an equal footing with holy places sacred to other world religions. As millions of Christians look to Jerusalem for inspiration, as millions of Muslims turn to Mecca, so do three hundred million Buddhists cherish the sacred foot print of Lord Buddha in Nepal.
The Government of Nepal has received a Loan (Loan No. 2579-NEP (SF) and a grant (Grant No. 0179) plus additional financing under Loan No. 3117-NEP (SF) and Grant No. 0383- NEP (EF) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in various currencies towards the cost of Improving Connectivity and Destination Management of Cultural and Natural Resources in the South Asia Sub region Project. The OPEC fund for International Development (OFID) is also co-financing the part of the Project. The Project will develop and improve tourism related infrastructure in Nepal. It will focus on improving connectivity to and destination infrastructure and services in key nature and tourism based sites. Upgrading of Gautam Buddha Airport to international airport, construction of visitors’ centre and other facilities at Lumbini including community strengthening are the key activities under this project. The expected outcomes are several sub regional circuits of nature and culture-based tourism destinations with (i) improved connectivity, (ii) better quality environment and visitor services; (iii) enhanced natural and cultural heritage, and capacity for sustainable heritage management; and (iv)greater engagement of communities in heritage management and tourism benefits.