‘Bandhs, strikes hit tourism sector hard’

Kathmandu, February 5:

Ailing tourism industry has been further hit by the ban-dhs and strikes hard that are more frequent in recent tim-es, tourism entrepreneurs complained during a programme organised at the Reporters’ Club here today.

Surya Joshi, president of Nepal Association of Rafting Agents (NARA) said that bandhs have affected the national economy and tourism industry. “Politics should not affect industries,” he urged.

Tek Bahadur Dangi, Chief Executive Officer at Nepal Tourism Board said that Nepal is one of the safest tourist destinations in the world. “However it has been shadowed by the negative publicity in the international market. Due to frequent bandhs and strikes, tourist feel that Nepal is unsafe. These bandhs are not only having short-term impacts but harming the tourism sector in the long run also,” he said.

Despite bandhs tourist movements have been facilitated by providing security to them and also provisions are being made to pickup and drop them from and to the international airport,” he added. “Our tourism structures can withhold tourist of one million in a year but there should be peace in the country to lure such a huge number of tourists.”

Bishnu Gewali, president of Tourist Guide Association Nepal (TGAN) urged the concerned parties to opt for an alternative to bandhs to fulfil their political goals. “Bandhs can, in some way, fulfil vested interests but it adversely affects country’s economy,” he said.

“Such bandhs and strikes reflect negative images of Nepal in the international market,” Gewali said urging the government to take initiatives to prevent such strikes in the future.