June 08 , 2015
Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), together with Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Civil Aviation Office, on June 7 organized an interaction in Kathmandu on "Tourism Promotion in Nepal: Stakeholders' Responsibility".
The interaction saw participation of representatives from different government agencies and travel trade associations as well as media persons.
Speaking at the program, Rajesh Kaji Shrestha, president of Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), said only 0.15 percent of total population of six million in affected areas have become casualty of the earthquake. "Only two trekking areas of around 35 trekking areas in the country have been damaged by the earthquake. Likewise, only a few cultural monuments have fallen. We should be able to disseminate this information to rest of the world," he added.
Birendra Kumar Shrestha of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Civil Aviation Office, said no significant damage has been reported in major infrastructures and that tourists are perfectly safe in Nepal.
DB Limbu, coordinator of Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC) and President of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), said the tourism ministry should devise necessaries strategies to respond to disaster of this scale. He also said all the stakeholders should meet members of diplomatic missions and apprise them of the situation here.
Similarly, Sugat Ratna Kansakar, managing director of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), said tourism stakeholders should be able to tell the rest of the world that Nepal is safe for tourists. "We should air advertisements in leading broadcast media to tell potential tourists that there is nothing to fear about in Nepal," he added.
Bachchu Narayan Shrestha, former vice president of Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN), said only 15 percent of trails in Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) have been affected by the earthquake. "We should immediately assess trekking trials and devise recover strategy," he said, adding that camping trek should be encouraged until local people rebuild lodges and tea houses in affected areas.
Tourism Secretary Suresh Man Shrestha cultural heritage sites will open for foreign tourists from June 15."This will disseminate the message throughout the world that tourism activities have resumed in Nepal," he added.
Similarly, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Kripasur Sherpa, said his efforts would be on taking Nepali tourism industry to the pre-quake level as soon as possible. He also requested private sector to join hands with private sector for early recovery of tourism industry.