Counter negative publicity at int’l level
Basant Raj Mishra
NATO is committed to the promotion and development of Nepali tourism. It is dedicated to promoting inbound quality tourism and developing new tourism products. It is among the highest foreign currency earners. In view of Nepal Tourism year 2011, NATO is confident the following points will be incorporated in the coming budget:
• Regain lost confidence through effective
Nepali tourism industry is a victim of negative publicity in the international market. Even after improved circumstances, tourists are still hesitant to come to Nepal.
• Enhance competitive strength of local tour operators
Due to global competition it has become extremely important for tour operators to upgrade their office equipment, vehicles and other infrastructure
to meet the demand
of their clients.
• Enhance competition with equal opportunities
Fair competition should be enhanced by making sure that those who are paying taxes are not penalized any further by ensuring that all those who sell travel or deal with tourists must be brought under the VAT umbrella. If VAT is waived, this will raise revenue.
• Encourage international flights/charters, ensured stronger air access.
• Market TIA
Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) must be marketed to promote it and lure international airlines. Its services should be improved, as the TIA milieu gives tourists the first impression of Nepal.
• Encourage movie producers
Movies made in Nepal by international producers would be a method to publicize the country in the international arena. Policies related to making movies in Nepal should be simplified and fees slashed so that movie producers are encouraged on a massive scale.
• Invest for rural development
Public investment in rural development should be increased. If infrastructure like road, electricity, communication are put in place, tourism entrepreneurs would promote rural and village tourism.
• Develop tourism infrastructure, set up four-lane highways to tourist destinations
• Tour Operators and Travel Agents must be treated as two separate categories.
• Take stringent action against wilful defaulters
• Easy exit for troubled tourism companies
• Declare tourism a
national industry to encourage foreign investment.
Mishra is president of Nepal Association of Tour Operators