With the introduction of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the government of Nepal has agreed to develop links with China through the development of cross-border infrastructure such as railway and road networks. It is assumed that increased trans-Himalayan connectivity will bring new dynamics to the socioeconomic development of communities, and tourism is one of the significant factors behind the acceleration of such developments. Improved connectivity promotes accessibility, economic activity, and local development, along with increased tourism development. Most settlements along the Nepal–China Friendship Highway are expected to experience an increase in economic activity, tourism, and local development. In this regard, considering the cases of Dhulikhel and Banepa, key towns on the Nepal–China Friendship Highway, this research aims to explore the various impacts of transport infrastructure on tourism development and associated aspects of tourist destinations. Multiple methods of data collection, including interviews with key informants, questionnaire surveys, participant observations, and archival research have been adopted. Perceived impacts reveal positive and negative effects on infrastructure and tourism and to local communities. It is envisaged that integrated policies of sustainable tourism development and transport infrastructure should be in place.
- Belt and Road Initiative
- Nepal-China Friendship Highway
- community perceptions
- sustainable tourism development