KATHMANDU: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed an agreement to develop Tourism Satellite Account framework that is expected to give real data on Nepal’s tourism contribution to the economy.

As the country does not have any mechanism to calculate tourism contribution of the country gross domestic product and employment it has been generating, including the record of domestic tourism, the NTB had moved to devise the framework for data collection.

Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer of NTB, said that tourism plays a significant role in socio-economic development, and hence the project will help understand the size of tourism economy and further strengthen the tourism sector’s contribution in promoting people’s livelihoods and the local economy.

Nepal’s travel and tourism sector injected Rs195 billion into the economy and supported more than 1.02 million jobs directly and indirectly last year, according to the report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The report said that 497,500 jobs were generated directly out of the total jobs supported by the industry last year. The Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2018 report released globally last Thursday said the industry was expected to create more than 1.32 million jobs directly and indirectly by 2028.

Direct employment is expected to rise by 2.1 percent annually to 638,000 jobs in 2028. Nepal is ranked 110th in terms of the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the GDP among the 185 countries surveyed. Likewise, the country is ranked 34th in terms of direct contribution to employment.