Nepal – Buddhist Circuit Development Strategy Nepal


Define and develop strategies and action plans for viable tourism circuits in Nepal focusing on the Buddhist Circuit.

IFC Nepal supported the Government of Nepal and the private sector in unlocking investments and addressing constraints to growth in tourism and other competitive sectors. The IFC hired Scott Wayne to identify regulatory constraints that were preventing the sector from achieving its full potential and attracting investment, and in undertaking strategic and targeted investment promotion to stimulate growth. The assignment especially focused on helping to develop the Buddhist Circuit in southern Nepal, which included Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.

Activities & Services

  • Reviewed all available material on Nepalese tourism, including municipal, and national government development plans and projects and donor and NGO-funded initiatives. 
  • Focused on the religious site of Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha. 
  • Convened private sector stakeholder focus group discussions with a) hoteliers and heritage accommodation operators and owners, b) locally based inbound tour operators, c) tourism industry associations (e.g. crafts, trekking companies, taxi operators – range of goods and service providers). 
  • Visited the core “Buddhist Circuit” destinations, met and interviewed stakeholders, validated information on relevant public sector interventions, civil society and monastery involvement, and, private sector tourism-related goods and services provision.  
  • Conducted constraints analysis (i.e. infrastructure, access, accommodation, SME development, marketing, HR development, etc.). 
  • Gathered market intelligence on growth potential, pitfalls, constraints and specific opportunities.   
  • Convened inbound tour operator discussion in Kathmandu.