On a recent Study Tour to Nepal I had the opportunity to explore the current state of tourism in the country.  In contrast to some of it’s neighbours, such as Bhutan, tourism policy in the country has adopted an open door policy.  Few restrictions, and relatively inexpensive travel fees, have created a mass tourist industry that the country has become quite dependant upon.  While smaller rural communities have not always benefited from the industry in the past, there are glimmers of hope.  Many communities are joining efforts for joint investments, government bureaus are rallying behind opportunities for co-management of protected areas with locals, and high-end private investors are seeing the value in partnering with local communities.  As a result, more and more we find that isolated communities are finding access to markets for products such as handicrafts, poverty stricken areas are receiving aid for establishing schools, etc.  However, there is still much room for improvement.