|Dr Surendra Bhakta Pradhanang of Nepal is an award winning personality whose work has helped create a new face for tourism and economic development and the best thinker of village development and nation's development. Dr Pradhanang left a multi-career in village tourism development and economics to devote himself to giving a better life of village people and progress. His Theory of Village Tourism provides a road map for village and nation's development and economy with the special considerations. Dr Pradhanang led Kathmandu Research Centre as chairman from 1984 - 2007 .During the time KRC conducted various research studies on the national issues. He is the village expert having love and development -mind to villages of Nepal and abroad. He is, in fact , the man of the world having the cosmopolitan nature.|
Dr Pradhanang awakened and educated village people,local leaders, tourism entrepreneurs and intellectuals in developing village Tourism for the benefit and economic development of the country and world. World population also especially the marginalised and disadvantaged groups of people will be treated as the injection of economic pencilling for their poverty and economic pain by his concept of Village Tourism. Dr Pradhanang served as a Member of Tourism Policy Formulation Committee in 1995 in National Planning Commission of Nepal and also served as a Member of Task force of Tourism Development Plan (Ninth Plan) in 1997. Dr Pradhanang was awarded and honored with `Father of Village Tourism in Nepal ' on account of hie outstanding contribution made in conceptualisation and development of Nepal's Village Tourism in 1998 and 2002. His precious time of life spent in thinking and developing Nepal's Village Tourism Development. At present his concept is most popular in the international arena also.
His concept is being followed by various countries of the world. He is the Professor of Sustainable Tourism Development and economics in Kathmandu Academy of Tourism and Hospitality in Nepal and resource person on village tourism and environment in Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management. Dr. Dr Surendra Bhakta Pradhanang spoke with Kamala Sarup, mediaforfreedom.com on village tourism.
1. How do you see the present tourism development in the country ?
Dr Pradhanang: The present tourism development in Nepal is still out of order showing disturbance and crisis.Tourism ,being the fragile industry ,has to go always through peace and high standard hospitality service.Due to the cold war within the country ,Nepalese tourism is lagged behind at least 10 years along with the depression of national economic development. But after the innovation of Nepal's Village Tourism Concept the new and innovative thought on Nepalese tourism industry shifted from city to village as new tourism destination. From this time it tends to be radical change in the Nepalese tourism with his concept of village tourism with the notation of `low investment and high return theory'. My effort and advocacy for developing village tourism in Nepal the seed of village tourism in Nepal has been largely rooted and extended in the Nepalese soil and also awakened people and tourism entrepreneurs not only in Nepal but in the whole world as well.
2. Nepalese people want change from years of economic sufferings. What do you think ?
Dr Pradhanang: Nepalese people are most satisfied citizen in the world though they are poor and economically weak.They would think their poverty is the outcome of faith written by God. However,people can not alive without fulfillment of basic needs. Their livelihood is not possible when there is no income and employment generations in the country.The poverty has been widened from day to day at the larger extent.Consequently, they want changes in their life and to get rid of economic sufferings from years.
In fact, corruption is as HIV aid or cancer that steals from the poor and eats away at governance.The challenge is the new government is how best to clean corruption out. The corrupted and unfair persons are still on the government and near and dear to the governmental bodies.
The rapid rise in prices is a killer for all concerned consumption and production to national economy.Inflation could decimate the spending power of the people's income.
3. What type of tourism programs do you prefer for a country like Nepal ?
Dr Pradhanang: Nepal needs public-oriented as well as public income-generated tourism programs, so that the general people/villagers also can accommodate the tourism industry and get economic benefits at the larger extent.In that sense, I prefer Nepal's Village Tourism Concept which has been innovated at the Nepalese social structure as its own originality and innovative idea for developing Nepal and Nepalese society as a whole.As a matter of fact, there is no any other better tourism concept than Village Tourism Concept for Village Nepal.
4. What would you like people to take away from your tourism development ?
Dr Pradhanang: By the innovation of Nepal's Village Tourism Concept ,the concept of tourism industry has been dramatically changed. Once upon a time tourism industry was considered as a white elephant, so that the general people are out of reach. Now Nepal's Village Tourism Concept has proved that tourism is neither a rich man 's business nor a poor man's dream, but it is all men's destiny for socio-economic growth and development in a simple way of perfection. Village tourism provides village people income and employment at hands directly or indirectly.It can make the people and country rich and prosperous if the government is mindful and development- oriented.I assure the economic pain of the people and country will be ended when Nepal's Village Tourism Concept is honestly and carefully implicated. It is village tourism concept ,the line of thinking and the guide for developing people and country with low investment cost.
5. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a career like tourism development ?
Dr Pradhananag: It is not easy to say the career like tourism development has full of advantages or disadvantages. Tourism is a service industry concerned with hospitality to people.In other words, it is the business of people to please them with full satisfaction. In the Nepalese society and culture guests are honored as God. Hence, a person having a career like tourism development would be more virtuous and righteous. It is more pleasure to serve people with high hospitality.An excellent hospitality service is provided in tourism industry.God will be very pleased when one serves to other along with the hospitality professional.
Most obviously, every career development has its own pros and cons. In the same way, a career as tourism development has its own pros Basically, the major pros is to provide services to the people with high respect . In return tourists/guests pay money as rewards to the service provider/hospitality service centre, village or hotel. To provide recreation and pleasure is next important merit to career development. Above all, the whole world will be developed under the global friendship and love. We promote international brotherhood, mutual understanding and relationship which are real invaluable properties of mankind. Gradually peace and prosperity in the world will be tightened.The concept of global village in the world will be truly implicated.The exchange of thought and culture between country to country and community and community will be extensively undertaken in the globe.The tourism career development pushes and pulls up people's understanding,cooperation,love ,affection and mutual trust and respect.
The life will be highly delighted with a sense of humor and self-satisfaction when we please people as guests at large. Similarly, we develop and promote tourism economics along with several tourism related activities throughout the country and abroad. A successful career like tourism development may be the hero of service and hospitality establishing peace and prosperity all the time and thereby develops the digital economy to the development of world economics.The concept of righteousness showing duty and obligation of human beings is awakened to the whole world. Lots of income and employment generating activities can be created by adopting a career like tourism development.
A career like tourism development has disadvantages too like secrecy and privacy are threats to the country.The community culture, living style, custom and manner will be exhausted and changed from the originality. In the same way, a career like tourism development hampers the life and behaviour in business complexity and competitiveness.
Pretty much, it seems to me the same as the last time business runs for competitive tourism Enterprise with mud.Time rails against an improper culture that would take root in the tourism market and produces the backroom payoffs and other improprieties that are related in tourism business.The culture expands and an attitude of businessman goes down and then we might be at a competitive disadvantage that takes hold. We come to the conclusion that what was particularly sad and tragic.
6. Investing in tourism is investing in wealth. What do you think ?
Dr Pradhanang : Generally, tourism has been heated as the most profitable business .On the other side, it is treated as a separate business to the affluent class of wealthy individuals.
7. You came to New York, USA for promotion of Nepal's Village Tourism. What do you want to give to New Yorkers ?
Dr Pradhanang: Nepal's Village Tourism Concept is a unique concept useful and effective not only to Nepal but to the whole world also. I came to New York, USA. Here I think to develop Nepal's Village Tourism in New York too. When I was visited Tokyo, Japan for promotion of Nepal's Village Tourism Concept in 2000/2001, I suggested the intellectuals and people of Matchumotto city to develop Hakuba village as tourism village destination of Tokyo. In the same way,I would like to develop tourism village in terms of Nepalese modality,so that village Nepal will be wonderfully exposed as new and innovative episode to New York. New York, being the mixture of multi culture destination ,is the immigrant -made metropolitan city. As the result, Nepal and USA will get mutual benefit in tourism development. It needs new plan and strategy for development.Nepal's Village Tourism may be a highly instrumental for New York's growth and development.
Regarding everyday hot news on New York's metropolitan city redevelopment and plan by New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, New York needs new ideas for development. For this reason,I can penetrate my concept-Nepal's Village Tourism through public-private partnerships. It works to develop tourism in a new and innovative way , alleviate poverty, create more affordable house, promote public health, expand educational opportunities for children and adults and so on. This concept of village tourism can capitalize much more on New York's development plan and economy . Consequently, it builds a bright future for all New Yorkers.
Hence, Mr Bloomberg should be mindful and positive in this regard and he has to understand Dr Pradhanang of Nepal and his possible contribution to New York. Likewise, Nepal's Village Tourism may be developed in Virgina, Coloroda , Vermount and so on.
8. You are an eminent economist of Nepal along with theTourism Expert At present how do you see Nepal from the standpoint of political economy ?
Dr Pradhanang: This is the vital question you asked. Nepalese would like to see the creative activity and good governance of the government of Nepal expecting better and result-oriented national development and real democracy in perfection. It is of course politics and economics have a significant relationship in terms of economic development of the country. `No politics,no good government and no economics no national development.' These words are very important lead messages for good governance and national development to our country.
I have a far sighted vision to see Nepal may be a rich country one day. The day will come if Nepal's Village Tourism Concept is operated effectively in the land of Village Nepal.This concept massively creates income and employment opportunities from village to village and from village to nation. Hence, Nepalese standing on the own legs and brainstorming on own thought have to work more carefully to meet the development mission and for radical change.
Nepal is badly categorised into 12th poorest country in the world and 21 failed state among the 177 countries of the world as the report recently published and surveyed by the American Foreign Policy Magazine and Fund for Peace Think Tank. Measured on the 12 stagnations like the internal struggle and cold war, abuse of Human Rights, increment of domestic refugees, depression of economy, foreign country's intervention, poverty etc. ,Nepal is in the critical stage.
The report states that the most failed states are scored as Sudan and Iraq. In the South Asia, Nepal has been identified as the third failed state.
On the other side, the national output and productivity should be increased.The economic growth rate has to be accelerated speedly for increase to Gross Domestic Product. Hence, Nepalese mind should be basically concentrated to economics of Nepal and economic development rather than politics.
9. What is your will regarding your innovative idea and work ?
Dr Pradhnang: As a village tourism development thinker or innovator of Nepal has the will to see my country developed in terms of International Tourism Village Centre and also many more tourism villages developed with the application of my concept to the benefit and upliftment of living standard and progress of the people and countries of the world. For the developing countries like Nepal ,this concept is an instrumental for economic development and progress of the country and people especially for the marginalised community as a whole.Very soon I would like to see my country the removal of the poorest country and failed state from the World Think Tank Development Evaluation . By and large, Asian Development Bank,World Bank and many national and international financial and social organizations are being involved in development of village tourism (rural tourism).I would like to see people of the world benefitted more by the implication of Nepal's Village Tourism.
Kamala Budhathoki Sarup is an editor for http://www.mediaforfreedom.com/. She was a regular contributor to United Press International - Asia News. Some of her publications are: Women;s Empowerment in South Asia (booklets); Prevention of Trafficking in Women Through Media, (book); Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (media research). She has also written two collections of stories.
Published in Scoop media.