Nepal has reopened many of the heritage sites in the Kathmandu valley to the public, in a bid to attract tourists after April’s devastating earthquake. Nepal also appealed to the international community to send tourists to its famed heritage sites to revive its ailing tourism industry.Nepalese authorities opened many popular heritage sites which included three former ‘durbar’ or royal squares in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Their glittering palaces and historic temples attracted tens of thousands of tourists, particularly from neighbouring India. More than 128 tourists have visited Kathmandu Durbar Square within 48 hours of its opening.“If you want to help Nepal send visitors to our monuments and shrines. There are beautiful places and historical and cultural sites which are less affected by the earthquake and it is safe to visit these places,” said Tourism Minister Kripasur Sherpa, during the opening of the sites.The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment report has urged the government to announce 2017 and 2018 as Visit Nepal Year to assure visitors that reconstruction and rehabilitation will be completed by then. As the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and the private sector have been spending a combined Rs 2.20 billion annually on tourism marketing and promotion during normal times, the outlay has to be increased multiple fold to revive the market, the report said.Vice President Andrew Jones and Crisis Expert Bert Van Walbeek from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Headquarters in Bangkok visited Pokhara recently to present a Tourism Recovery Plan to the Government, NTB, and private sector tourism officials. The recovery plan was drafted in consultation with tourism workers and experts from across the world, with strategies for fast recovery of Nepal tourism in the next couple months.