January 08 , 2016
Ganga Sagar Pant, Chief Executive Officer of Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN), recently participated in a 12-day Trail Management Study Tour of New Zealand.
The tour concluded on December 21, 2015.
Nepal and New Zealand share glorious history regarding mountain tourism. Though Nepal is a pioneering country in trekking tourism, New Zealand has been developing and promoting trekking tourism in a rapid and sophisticated manner. The New Zealand government recently developed Great New Zealand Trail which is also known as ‘Te Araroa’. The 3,000-kilometer trail covers most of the area of the country.
According to Pant, the Great Himalaya Trail of Nepal can adopt some practical as well as theoretical aspects of Te Araroa whose many sections pass through national parks and conservation areas. "We also got opportunity to learn about safety and quality of the trails and ways to maximize economic benefits from conservation areas and national parks," Pant said, adding that the tour also helped the participants to foster coordination between government and locals as well as private bodies to develop and operate tourism business.
The study tour, which was led by Sadhu Ram Sapkota, joint secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, had representations from National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), among others.
"The tour was very practical and fruitful. We need devise necessary plans and policies to replicate New Zealand's success in Nepal," Pant said, adding that TAAN should take the lead for development, quality and safety enhancement, and promotion of Great Himalaya Trail.