Gonepalholiday mobile app for tourists

KATHMANDU: Incentive Holidays has launched ‘Gonepalholiday’, a mobile app, with an aim to make it easier for foreigners to choose Nepal as a destination to visit. The app, which is probably the first of its kind developed locally, is expected to be a smart travel companion for travellers.

The app has been designed as a personal guide for travellers and displays a contextual, interactive view of the itinerary of Nepal’s popular destinations, hotels, trekking routes and maps, including other travel and tourism-related information, according to the company. The app is available for Android and iOS operating systems.

“At a time when negative messages about Nepal’s tourism sector are spreading after the earthquake, the app will help attract tourists and promote tourism,” said Hari Man Lama, executive chairman of Incentive Holidays. He said that as they have already reached an agreement with Himalayan Bank, travellers can simply book their trip and make payments online through the app.

The app provides travel itineraries, including airlines, hotel and ground transportation, and maps and directions of hotels, airports and more. At present, the app includes information about 40 hotels and additional information related to hotels, homestays and other tourism services would be incorporated gradually, according to Lama.

With the number of smartphone users growing globally, the company had come up with the app to connect with the ‘mobile generation’. Reports said that of the total travellers worldwide, 87 per cent use smartphones and half of them use travel apps. Gonepalholiday, a local app targeted at global market will have to compete with a number of similar type of travel apps such as Tripit, Trip Advisor and Kayak, among others.

In a bid to highlight Nepal’s attraction for tourists, the company today also launched a global photo competition in four different segments — adventure, landscape, culture and heritage, and wildlife in Nepal. Participants in the photo competition will have to upload their photos through the app. Top selected photos will be uploaded in Facebook for voting (likes) and winners will be announced on the World Tourism Day on September 27.