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Title of Assignment: To provide technical support in implementation, monitoring and assessing of tourism grants focused on enhancing the hospitality services in Manang and Mustang, Gandaki Province.
Type of Consultancy: Short Term Technical Assistance (STTA)
Period of implementation: March 2024 upto November 2024
LOE: 10 days per month for 9 months
Location: Manang, Mustang and Kathmandu
USAID Trade and Competitiveness Activity is a five-year activity that will provide opportunities for the Nepali economy as it recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Activity will enable Nepal to capitalize on global integration to diversify toward higher quality and higher value exports, foster sustainable job growth and income-generating opportunities for those that have previously been left behind by economic growth, and create greater sustainability and resiliency. The activity will also deliberately promote the integration of women, youth, and marginalized groups into markets to participate in economic opportunities created as Nepal’s economy grows. It will increase jobs and exports while supporting the private sector in managing risks from climate change, COVID-19, and other threats.
The goal is to accelerate firm and sector level competitiveness, generate employment opportunities, and increase sales of firms through interventions that incentivize public and private sector actors across the ecosystem to adopt new behaviors driving outcomes across three objectives:
The tourism sector is characterized as having the most opportunities to scale, both vertically and horizontally. It has an immense capacity to leverage on sector-level opportunities, generate employment and business opportunities, and translate benefits to all the actors involved in the sector. The constraints are poor infrastructure and connectivity; lack of skilled human resources; and limited promotion and market access. The Activity’s key interventions in improving the sector are to increase the value of its destination offering, including diversification of product, upgrading facilities and services, and upgrading the skills of tourism stakeholders.
The Annapurna Circuit Trail (ACT) is considered a popular tourist trekking route for Nepal and attracted the highest number of international visitors/trekkers before the pandemic. Despite being a popular destination, the area is presently challenged with inadequate touristic infrastructure limiting the access and stay of high-end tourists within the area. To address these challenges and to complement the growing demand for comfortable and adequately facilitated hotel accommodation services, scaling up and restructuring existing tourist facilities in the Annapurna Circuit Trekking route is a requirement.
Manang, one of the largest villages along the Annapurna Circuit, is the major acclimatization stop-over for trekkers before attempting the Thorong La Pass (5415 meters). Manang as a part of the Annapurna Circuit holds unique touristic value; and upgrading the tourist facilities such as hotel/accommodation within the area is expected to increase tourist flow in the ACT.
Similarly, Mustang lies within the trans-Himalayan region and covers about 47% of the Annapurna Conservation Area with the elevation ranging from 2,000 m to 8,168 m from the sea level. Mustang is well known tourism destination for its pristine biodiversity, spectacular scenery, world’s deepest Kali Gandaki gorge and lunar-like landscapes. Mustang has many interesting cultural and historical monuments such as historic places, forts, and walled city in Lo-Manthang. Jomsom, Muktinath, and Kagbeni serve as the primary destinations for many visitors. Mustang as a part of the hotel/accommodation within the area and is expected to increase the touristic flow in the ACT.
The Activity is providing grants to tourism enterprises in Manang and Mustang Districts to improve the overall customer experience, increase the quality-of-service offerings to high-end customers, and to increase the number of visitors through the upgradation tourism facilities. In addition to grants, the Activity plans to carry out training and other technical services to standardize the service offerings of these enterprises as part of developing an improved brand/image for the ACT beyond a backpacker’s market and catering to more diverse tourist segments.
This STTA aims to provide management and monitoring support for the implementation of the T&C Grants in the ACT as well as to help in carrying out other technical assistance to upgrade and standardize services and facilities including enterprises beyond the grantees and to coordinate with other T&C activities or other donor activities that maybe carried out in the ACT area such as the SAVE Tourism to ensure complementation with T&C and other donor activities in the ACT.
Management of Grants’ implementation
Coordinate and facilitate implementation of capacity building activities
Verification, Documentation and Reporting
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