Namaste and greetings from Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN).
First of all I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to you all for showing confidence in me and my team to lead this association for two years.
Nepali tourism industry is passing through possibly the most difficult time in its history. The industry, which was prospering with the end of decade-long conflict and the beginning of peace process, was hit hard by the devastating earthquake of April 25 and subsequent aftershocks. The quake damaged trekking trails in different parts of the country. Negative media portrayal made negative impact on our tourism industry. In fact, damage inflicted by such negative portrayals was more severe than the impact of the earthquake. Many people were killed and thousands of people were rendered homeless. Many trekking trails were also damaged. Most of them, however, have already been brought into operation.
The tourism industry, which was expected to show some recovery in autumn, was hit by unrest in Tarai districts and unofficial blockade imposed by India. The blockade had an immediate impacted on people's daily life as it led to shortage of essential commodities. Price of daily commodities skyrocketed and petroleum products became scarce. Despite these hardships, Nepali tourism entrepreneurs are continuing to serve foreign tourists who come to enjoy Nepal.
The new executive committee of TAAN is committed for development and promotion of Nepali tourism industry in general and trekking sector in particular. We have already met different ministers and secretaries as well as chiefs of different line agencies to apprise them of the problems that the Nepali tourism industry is facing at present. Similarly, we have also provided them charter of suggestions to resolve those problems.
To facilitate works of TAAN Secretariat, we have formed different departments which will help us in smooth implementation of our programs and activities. Similarly, at least two office-bearers and members of our executive committee will visit TAAN every day to listen to your complaints and grievances and help in smooth functioning of the TAAN Secretariat.
The executive committee will take election manifestos of both the panels which contested the TAAN Election, as its guiding principles. We have already formed a committee to study the manifestos and prepare a common document. Our team will give continuity to programs and activities initiated by the previous executive committee and devise new programs for the greater benefit of tourism industry in general and trekking sector in particular.
Since all tourist destinations are now ready to host visitors, trekkers, mountaineers and nature lovers need not hesitate to visit Nepal. We are confident that you will enjoy your stay in Nepal as the country is often referred to as "Trekkers' Paradise". I would like to request all our business partners and tour operators to include Nepal in the list of destinations and convey this message to others.