Domestic flights resume operations after six months
After six months of restrictions, domestic flights resumed from today. To prevent the COVID-19 infection from spreading in the country, the government had halted domestic flights from March 24. After the resumption of flights, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) conducted the first flight today at 7:00am from Kathmandu to Bhojpur.
Meanwhile, on the very first day of resumption of domestic flights, Yeti Airlines launched the ‘Together for Domestic Tourism’ campaign under which the airline company is offering 16 travel packages.
The travel packages include Everest Trail, Intriguing Rara, Enchanting Pokhara, Heart of the Jungle Safari Chitwan, Muktinath Darshan Jomsom (Low), Muktinath Darshan Jomsom (high), Annapurna Foothills Trail Ghandruk and Annapurna Luxury Ghandruk Trek.
Similarly, towards regular destinations, Yeti Airlines is offering two-nights and three-days packages from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, Bhadrapur, Bharatpur, Nepalgunj, Janakpur and Tumlingtar.
The campaign has been launched with a slogan ‘Aba airlines udna matra hoina ghumna pani’ (Now airlines are not to fly only but to travel as well).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has become an opportunity to promote domestic tourism,” said Anoj Rimal, CEO of Yeti Airlines, adding, “Domestic tourism is the only way out for the revival of the country’s tourism sector.”
He further said that Yeti Airlines has launched the travel packages with an aim to motivate Nepalis to travel within the country before deciding on visiting foreign countries. “There are so many people who have not visited new places within the country. Thus, we expect these travel packages to attract people to travel inside the country.” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking at the event, Achyut Guragain, president of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents, said that stakeholders have for a long time made a mistake of focusing only on foreign currency and foreign tourists and ignoring domestic tourism. “Now due to the changing scenario, stakeholders have to realise the importance of domestic tourism,” he added.
“We have to focus on domestic tourism to revive the industry. Taking the present situation into consideration, all the stakeholders have to work together instead of working as competitors,” Guragain said. “Even the government has to work hand in hand with the private sector.”
The government could bring a policy whereby civil servants are given two days off in a week to promote local tourism and it could also provide travel allowance to the government employees.”
According to him, it is time now to focus on quality and standard service and to promote tourism together.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 22, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.