Architectural and Cultural Heritage Tourism Products in Nepal

The Annapurna Conservation Area is arguably one of the most beautiful regions in the world, yet it is surprising that a higher level of accommodation infrastructure has not been built to accommodate the growing segment of global soft-adventure tourists. New accommodation offerings will be needed to attract this different and higher-spending market to the area. IFC’s team of sustainable tourism and finance professionals made two visits to the area to assess opportunities to create higher-value tourism products. This report—Architectural and Cultural Heritage Tourism Products in Nepal: An Assessment of New Private Sector Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Sector in Annapurna Conservation Area—is a result of these visits.

The report sums up the status of tourism in the Annapurna Conservation Area and proposes definite ways to channel private sector investments that will attract tourists by offering a richer experience and benefit the local economy by increasing incomes and creating jobs. In that way, this report demonstrates how an investment in Nepal will yield not just financial returns, but social and cultural returns as well. It examines how investors can leverage the Annapurna Conservation Area’s triple offering of landscape, architecture, and culture to offer a tourist experience unparalleled anywhere else in the world. It presents four potential investment concepts rooted in heritage preservation and restoration: a Boutique Hotel in Tukuche, a Heritage Lodge in Jharkot, a network of lodges along the trail, and a coffee shop franchise in Lower Mustang and Manang.