Economic diplomacy required

With the declaration of a Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, people’s expectations of the new government are very high. The new budget should truly reflect people’s need for change. Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) is hopeful that the government will incorporate its demands in the upcoming budget. Since tourism is the mainstay of the national economy, the government’s main focus should be on encouraging more international airlines to fly to Nepal.

It should immediately initiate measures to control mayhem and disorder in our only international airport. Realising adventure tourism as an important aspect of our tourism industry, the government should develop effective rescue mechanisms and allot separate adequate fund to carry out rescue operations.

This will help make our mountains and trekking areas safe. Since many years, we have been asking the government to give industry status to the tourism sector and

provide due facilities. The government should allow duty-free import of vehicles for tourism industry. It should also allow unhindered movement of tourist vehicles throughout the country even during bandhs and strikes. This will help portray Nepal as a tourist friendly nation in the international arena. At a time when the need for responsible tourism is being felt throughout the world, the government should come up with programmes to ensure safety and security of porters and trekking staffs.

Similarly, the government should give due emphasis to economic diplomacy to promote trade and tourism sector of the country. It should provide separate fund to our embassies and consulates for tourism promotion. To materialise the concept of ‘Nepal for All Seasons’,

the government should offer special incentives to visitors coming during the off-season.